Anybody in Pakistan, who has ever made an online transaction, truly knows the pain of having no PayPal in the country. The fact that most banks in our country don’t offer free online services, or most foreign payments have to take more than 7 days at a time, only adds insult to injury.
Truly, being an online entrepreneur in Pakistan is not easy by any means but if you’re also the sort of a person who loves to play original games and/or loves to shop online, well that just adds icing to the cake which is our archaic banking system. Sure, if you’re among the lucky few who made the right choice in selecting a bank that allows you to use these services; they tend to put a damper on the whole thing by making you call their helpline asking about various fees that have to be paid to make those features actually work.
Of course, there are some banks which don’t charge any extra fees or make you answer questions such as “Can you name any of the last 5 transaction you made?” every time you want to make an online transaction. One prime example of this is Standard Chartered Bank (SCB).
Now, I know there are other banks that do the same but some of them do charge a nominal fee for those services, while others often have a system that just never seems to be working. Sure, if you’re a fan of standing in lines and wasting time to pay bills or to check your bank balance, you should really avoid those banks but for everyone else, online banking is truly a life saver.
Using SCB not only can you make transactions, pay bills and shop online, you can also use online banking to easily check your bank balance no matter where you are. While this may seem like a small convenience for many but for a person who makes a living working online, this truly is a life saver as I have seen many of my friends walk to the ATM in blistering heats just to check if their payment from a foreign bank has come through or not. I know that almost all banks in Pakistan transfer online payments via Habib Bank but considering that they don’t have a well-established online banking system, I always find myself more than willing to wait an extra day more for my payment to come through.
The bank in no way has the perfect online banking system but they are the lesser evil. For example, their online banking accounts have abysmal password requirements, making them somewhat vulnerable or how the bank still hasn’t embraced the TAN list security feature for online transactions. However, they are somehow among the only few banks in Pakistan that allows its customers to have an online bank account free of charge. So I don’t really have a great system in our country to compare them to. So till other banks in Pakistan decide to pick up on these shortcomings and finally provide us with the comfort of stop having to carry large sums of cash in our wallets, I can’t really complain much about the relation I already have with SCB.