Roshan Digital Account: How Important Is It for Pakistanis?

More than 11 million Pakistanis work in developed countries to send money back to their families. If you’re one of the millions living abroad, you’ve likely sent financial support through banks and money transfer services. One way to send money to Pakistan from other parts of the world is through a Roshan Digital Account in Pakistan.

What Is a Roshan Digital Account?

Roshan Digital Account (RDA) is a banking solution for millions of non-resident Pakistanis (NRPs). An initiative of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), RDA facilitates the smooth, convenient and easy flow of remittances into the country. But the financial product can do other things. With your account, you can bank, pay and invest in Pakistan from where you are in the world.

You can open RDA in Pakistani rupees and foreign currencies, such as the US dollar, euro and British pound. So sending money to Pakistan from the UK, Europe, and the US can be done using RDA.

Aside from NRPs, the eligibility for opening an RDA includes foreign nationals with a Pakistan Origin Card, federal or provincial government employees posted abroad in the tax year and individual Pakistanis with declared assets abroad. 

Which banks offer RDA? You can open an account with commercial banks operating in Pakistan, including Standard Chartered, The Bank of Punjab, Dubai Islamic Bank, Allied Bank, United Bank Limited and others.

What Fees Can You Expect With Your RDA?

When depositing money to your RDA from abroad, expect a transfer fee. Although RDA banks have decided not to charge account holders for incoming or outgoing fund transfers, the foreign bank you’re using will impose a charge. Bank charges will vary. 

Fortunately, RDA banks have made special arrangements with certain banks, like JP Morgan, Citi Bank, Standard Chartered and Deutsche Bank, to cut transfer charges to $5 – $9. However, you must secure the bank identification code (BIC) from the RDA bank to benefit from lower transfer charges.

Another fee to expect is the exchange rate. Foreign banks will take a cut of every pound or dollar they convert. UK banks, for instance, usually mark up exchange rates by 3% to 6%.

What Are the Benefits of a Roshan Digital Account?

Eligible Pakistanis can go online to open an RDA with a partner bank. You fill out a digital form, choose your account type (foreign currency value account or rupee value account) and save the form if you don’t have some of the required details. You can return to where you left off and complete the form then.

You don’t need to visit any bank branch, so you complete the process remotely. The convenience of opening an account is a key benefit of the Roshan Digital Account.

Other important benefits include:

  • RDA doesn’t require an initial amount or deposit
  • You can invest in the SBP’s permissible sectors (e.g., Naya Pakistan Certificates, commercial and residential real estate, Pakistan Stock Exchange, etc.)
  • You can send money to your account outside of Pakistan
  • You can buy a car for a family member in Pakistan
  • You can donate to charities in Pakistan through a one-stop payment platform
  • You can use it as a debit account
  • When you’re in Pakistan, you can withdraw money from your account through an ATM or via cheques.

Although you can do Internet banking and different transactions with your RDA, certain limitations leave some NRPs with doubts about opening an account.

What Issues Can Arise From an RDA?

Roshan Digital Account is a good initiative in Pakistan, but some NRPs have encountered issues. The online form, to begin with, can be detailed, much like it would be when opening an account in a bank’s branch. Some overseas Pakistanis trying to open a bank account have taken a couple of days to complete the online form, diminishing an RDA’s convenience.

The detailed form is one of many issues. Some NRPs waited 10 days to get a provisional account. The standard period for processing is two days. 

Another concern has to do with getting support during the application process. Because the partner bank is in Pakistan, their support teams follow local work hours. Many of their customers are in different time zones, so confirmation or clarification can occur at odd hours for NRPs.

Although the State Bank of Pakistan developed RDA as a tool to attract investments in Pakistan, many overseas Pakistanis use it to send remittances. After all, the existing infrastructure of the banking institutions means your family is sure to receive the money you send them. But confidence and understanding of RDA will take time to build up as a few issues get in the way.

What Is a Fast and Convenient Way to Send Money to Pakistan?

A Roshan Digital Account has value. As an overseas Pakistani, a bank account in your home country is necessary to provide financial support to your family. But there are other means to send money from abroad

Digital payment services provide a safe, efficient and convenient option for remittances. Through a digital payment gateway, you can send money at lower fees and more competitive rates than banks. 

You register, provide the required documentation, and set up your account. Check the fees and exchange rate, then review your transfer before authorising it. Your payment methods for this transfer could be done through credit card, debit card or bank transfer. Once you’ve sent the transfer, track your remittance in real-time.

At TangoPay, we facilitate fast, secure and fuss-free transfers to Pakistan in a variety of currencies. Our mission is to give you the flexibility and ease you need to send money to loved ones. Whether it’s cash pickup, direct to bank, or mobile money, you can switch between modes to meet your unique requirements. 

Download the TangoPay app from the App Store or Google Play Store today.