Khidmat Cards: SBP waives inter-switch fee on ATM transactions

KARACHI: In order to facilitate the Khidmat Cards beneficiaries, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced waiver of inter-switch fee on ATM transactions for cardholders.

Banks mainly charged Rs 15 per transaction as inter-switch fee, when a bank customer withdraws cash or make transaction at any other bank’s ATM. Recently, government of Punjab has established Punjab Social Protection Authority (PSPA) to launch a targeted cash transfer programme for disabled and poor people under the auspices of “Khidmat Card”.

To ensure provision of maximum options, the beneficiaries of Khidmat Card would be able to withdraw cash through ATMs of all Financial Institutions (FIs) throughout the country. “Therefore, in order to save beneficiaries from extra financial burden, it has been decided that with immediate effect, no inter-switch fee/charges will be deducted on financial and non-financial transactions executed by cardholders on ATM machines countrywide,” said SBP circular PSD Circular No 01 of 2015 issued Friday and sent to the Presidents/Chief Executive Officers of all banks, microfinance banks and switch operators.

The State Bank has asked banks, microfinance banks and switch operators that compliance of these instructions should be ensured meticulously. A cash subsidy scheme titled “Khidmat Card” for the poor and disable people has been launched by Punjab government in March this year. “Khidmat Card” is like Benazir Income Support programme card. The beneficiaries will be offered Rs 500 per month each initially and later the amount will be raised to Rs 1,000 per month, say sources privy to the development. To qualify for the scheme, a beneficiary will have to get enrolled at least one of their children in primary school. The facility may be withdrawn if the child is not enrolled.

Source: Business Recorder