The World Bank has predicted that international money transfer to low and middle-income countries will drop by 20% as a result of Covid-19. Pakistan is one of these countries.
However, the Pakistani government has acted quickly and it plans to introduce a range of incentives to protect its economy against the expected downturn and support those able to send money to Pakistan.
Sending money to Pakistan for the first time?
These measures — some already in place, and some coming in from September — mean it is a good time to make your first .
Small World has an additional incentive too: there are no transfer fees to Pakistan.
You can use the Small World app to create an account and begin to send money online in just a few quick steps. Our app is available from both the App Store and Google Play and it allows you to track transfers, view your transaction history and keep up to date with live exchange rates.
The Express Tribune announced that a tax efficient scheme for remittances launched on July 1, 2020. This meant that the tax that is usually kept back from an employer and paid directly to the government (Withholding Tax) is exempted on cash withdrawal or on issuance of banking instruments/transfers from a domestic bank account. This includes remittances.
From September 1, 2020, the ‘National Remittance Loyalty Program’ will take effect, directly benefiting those who want to send money to Pakistan. Through it, additional incentives will be given to remitters who use mobile apps and cards to transfer money.
A collaboration between major commercial banks and government agencies, the program hopes to reward remittance to Pakistan via official banking channels.
These rewards will include offering debit and loyalty cards and smartphone-based incentives.
Additionally, children of overseas Pakistanis who send remittances home will be given 50% discount in Overseas Pakistanis Foundation (OPF) School and college fees. A special quota will also be allotted to expatriates in the OPF housing schemes.
The impact of these measures
In June, Naveed Kamran Baloch, Pakistan’s Finance Secretary, confirmed that the remittance to Pakistan had declined by just 4.3% year-on-year for the period March to May, rather than the World Bank’s forecast of 23%.
In an interview with Pakistan Today, Baloch said, “…the government adopted timely measures to mitigate these adverse impacts by asking the banks to conduct aggressive awareness campaigns to inform the senders and receivers of remittances about available digital/online channels for sending and receiving remittances”.
Banks in parts of Pakistan where remittances are more common have also been asked to make sure that cash is available in order to be able to meet the needs of anyone receiving money from overseas.
What transfer options are available?
Whether you are using Small World for the first time or are used to sending money via money transfer services, it is important to choose the best option for both you and your recipient.
We have a range of several different services which our customers can choose from.
Customers can send money to be collected in cash from one of over 8,000 locations in Pakistan. Traditionally, this is the most popular way to transfer money to Pakistan but with the rise of digital technology, there might be a more suitable option.
If you are considering going digital for the first time, this guide will tell you everything that you need to know.
Fast and safe, depositing Rupees directly into a bank account in Pakistan takes seconds. It can be done online or by using the Small World app.
Branches remain open (Monday to Friday) from 10:00 AM to 4:30 PM until further instructions from the State Bank say otherwise.
If your recipient has a smartphone but does not have a bank account, you can send money to their mobile wallet (the digital equivalent of a physical wallet).
You can find out about the rising importance of mobile wallets on the Small World blog.
Money can also be transferred to a mobile provider. Your recipient will receive your remittance as airtime.
Choosing the best option for you and your recipient means you will be able to make the most of the government incentives and continue to support your friends and family as well as the country’s economy.
The most popular ways to send money to Pakistan:
- Cash Pick-up
- Bank Deposit
- Mobile Top-up
Our main partners in Pakistan are: MCB Bank, Wall Street, UBL, National Bank of Pakistan, Bank Alfalah, Allied Bank, Soneri Bank, JS Bank, and Bank AL Habib.