How to open a bank account in Pakistan

How to set up a bank account in Pakistan

Whether you’re a frequent visitor or planning to move to Pakistan, you’ll need a bank account to receive, save, deposit, and transfer money. Discover more about opening a bank account in Pakistan, including the documents you’ll need for your application.

Banking in Pakistan

Less than 25 per cent of the Pakistani population have a bank account. But for a country of about 220 million people, that’s still a staggering 50 million bank accounts. Not including foreign-owned and Islamic banks, there are about 30 banking institutes in Pakistan. 

Did you know? Islamic banks are financial institutions that follow shariah (Islamic law). These laws believe in the sharing of profit and losses, and forbid the payment of interest. 

Some of the most popular and established banks in Pakistan include: 

  • National Bank of Pakistan.
  • Bank Alfalah.
  • Habib Bank Limited (HBL).
  • Faysal Bank.
  • Meezan Bank.

And in early 2022, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) introduced updated banking guidelines. These new regulations have paved the way for digital banks to start operating in the country.

The SBP is Pakistan’s central bank. The central bank is responsible for regulating liquidity and ensuring the soundness of the country’s financial system. All banks in Pakistan fall under the supervision of the SBP.

Types of Pakistani bank accounts

Types of Pakistani bank accounts

Bank accounts in Pakistan usually fall under one of the following categories:

  • Basic Banking Accounts (BBAs)
  • Current accounts.
  • Savings accounts.
  • Fixed (term) deposit accounts.
  • Foreign Currency Accounts.

Each account type offers different services to suit your financial needs. While a BBA is an ideal account for a student, a fixed deposit account is perfect for long-term saving. Whereas a foreign currency account is great if you make regular international transactions.

Opening a Pakistani bank account from overseas

If you can’t be in the country at the time, you can sometimes still open a Pakistani bank account. In other cases, some banks will let you start the process from abroad. 

Roshan Digital Accounts were created with Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRPs) in mind. These accounts make it easier for overseas Pakistanis to open a bank account in Pakistan from anywhere in the world. 

Meezan Bank and Faysal Bank are two banks in Pakistan offering Roshan Digital Accounts. Some key features of this type of account, include:

  • Opening a current or savings account in PKR or foreign currencies. 
  • Accessing a range of wealth management products.
  • Buying Shariah-compliant shares listed on the Pakistan Stock Exchange.
  • Investing in Shariah-compliant scheme of Islamic Naya Pakistan Certificate (INPC). 
  • Transferring money to a personal account outside Pakistan without SBP approval.

Documents you need to open a bank account in Pakistan

Documents you need to open a bank account in Pakistan

While documents will differ from one bank to another, you’ll typically need to have:

  • Four passport-sized.
  • An electronic signature.
  • A scan of your passport’s first two pages. 
  • A scan of your Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC), National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP) or Pakistan Origin Card (POC).
  • Proof of your NRP status such as a POC, visa, or entry/exit stamps.
  • Proof of profession and source of income like a job certificate, tax return or payslips.
  • A Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) or Common Reporting Standard (CRS) tax declaration. 

What’s the minimum age for opening a bank account in Pakistan?

You need to be over the age of 18 to open a bank account in Pakistan. If you’re opening an account on behalf of a young person, HBL offers an excellent MoneyClub savings account. Other popular accounts for under 18s include:

  • First Minor Savings Account (United Bank Limited). 
  • Rising Star Account (Allied Bank). 
  • Teens Club Account (Meezan Bank).

How long does it take to open a bank account in Pakistan?

Depending on the bank, you can open an account online or in-person in about 30 minutes. Once your account is open, you may need to verify it in-person on your next trip to Pakistan.

Download the Azimo app on iOS or Android and start transferring funds today.