The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has devised Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework, which will facilitate banks to conveniently and remotely open bank accounts of resident Pakistanis by using digital channels. In a statement issued on Wednesday, the central bank said that with the rapid growth in adoption of electronic banking channels, especially amidst the Covid-19 pandemic, the demand from bank and customers for digital financial transactions has increased manifold. Under this new framework, account opening process has become swift and simplified while ensuring compliance with the applicable regulatory requirements and international standards. The framework in general provides a convenient way for all segments of society for opening bank accounts, it specifically enables freelancers, self-employed or unemployed women, and recipient of remittances from abroad to open bank account digitally with minimum documentation requirements. This initiative would also help in achieving SBP’s financial inclusion objectives by bringing the excluded segments of the society in the formal banking sector. The framework has been finalized after carrying out an extensive consultation with stakeholders, to obtain opinion from industry experts and to proactively address the challenges, which banks/ MFBs might face during the implementation of this framework. While typically accounts can be opened as either Savings or Current Account, the framework identifies four categories on the basis of functional limits such as deposit or withdrawal limits, fund transfer limits etc and the documents required for opening an account. These categories include ‘Asaan Digital Account’; ‘Asaan Digital Remittance Account’; ‘Freelancer Digital Account’; and the ‘Digital Account.’ The first category is the easiest to open requiring very basic information and the least number of documents albeit with some limits on functionality.