March 29, 2020 (MLN): State Bank of Pakistan has announced to facilitate customers by providing Doorstep Cheque Collection facility regarding Paper-based Clearing operations in order to combat the potential spread of COVID-19 pandemic.
According to the circular issued by State Bank of Pakistan, Banks/MFBs are allowed to provide ease of services to the customers by providing Direct Cheque Deposit Facility to limit a person to person interaction amid COVID-19 spread.
Under this facility, a crossed cheque may be presented by payee/beneficiary directly into the paying/drawee bank, instead of their bank branches as per the existing practice.
In this case, funds may be transferred by the paying/drawee bank either through RTGS customer fund transfer – MT102 or Over the Counter (OTC) IBFT or bank's internal online system in case both payer & payee banks are the same. However, the paying/drawee bank will be required to take all necessary precautions including but not limited to customer callback or multifactor authentication to verify the authenticity/genuineness of the instrument and verification of their respective customers, before debiting their customer's account.
Similarly, before crediting the customer account, the payee/beneficiary bank must ensure the authenticity of the customer's credentials as well.
According to the circular, banks and MFBs may offer Doorstep Cheque Collection facility under which they make arrangements to collect cheques from registered addresses of the customers upon their request.
Moreover, the banks and MFBs can also provide customers the Drop Box Cheque Collection Facility under which customers may drop their cheques in drop boxes of their banks, installed in selected branches.
However, banks are encouraged to implement additional risk-mitigating measures as per their internal policies while offering these services to their customers.
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