Free ATM Cards for Pakistani Expatriates’ Families

All the Pakistani foreign nationals now working in Saudi Arabian firms have the ease of transferring money to their families back in Pakistan without any additional fees or charges being incurred by them. Moreover, free ATM cards will be given to the families of the expatriates living in Saudi Arabia through which they would be able to withdraw money in real time. This is an easy option for the foreign nationals started by The National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) so that these working foreign nationals do not have to go through any hassle of sending payments.  This process will take place through the Foree Remittance Account of the National Bank of Pakistan. This policy has been started by Khalid Bin Shaheen who is the group chief of The National Bank of Pakistan’s Global Home Remittance Management Department.[irp]

This policy states the ease of this process and describes how the payment would be transferred without any delay and families and the relatives of the Pakistani nationals working Saudi Arabia will be allowed to take out the payments from this Remittance Account through ATMs with the cards given to them. The recipients would not have to stand in long lines or to go through any difficulty in the case of time or waiting to get the payments out. They can easily go to any ATM, swipe their specified card and get the money in seconds, actually micro seconds! The National Bank of Pakistan is now into making deals and contracts with several banks of Saudi Arabia such as The Arab National Bank, Bank Albibad, Bank Aljazira, Al Amoudi Exchange Company, Al Rajhi so that this process is taken into account.

Khalid Bin Shaheen stated that if this deal becomes successful, he along with the team will work for more deals such as less priced and economical interest rates and less priced costs implied on the tickets for Pakistanis. Several people have questioned Khalid Bin Shaheen as to why he is working on a non-fee remittance process for Pakistanis. He expressed how it would enhance the economy of Pakistan and exports, in a good way, of course!

As calculated, the payments that come from Saudi Arabia to Pakistan are around 45% to 50% of the total yearly payments which generate somewhat between $6 billion US dollars to $7 billion. Khalid Bin Shaheen also said how this new account for the payments would decrease the payments being transferred through not so formal mediums like Hundi or Hawala. This is because various complaints have been coming from people who say that Hundi and Hawala are not appropriate as the payments take around three to fifteen days to be transferred which is way too long for the families of Pakistani nationals.[irp]

These ways are not formal and have NO certifications or papers that are signed by any official bank which is a drawback! These ways are counted as unlawful and said to be banned in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and India. As calculated by The National Bank of Pakistan, payments being transferred by such ways between Pakistan and Saudi Arabia are counted to 15% or $1 billion, out of the total payments transferred.

Source: Saudi Gazette