RDA set to hit $3 billion mark as NRPs opt for investment options

Record remittances and growing roshan digital accounts have played a major role in stabilising Pakistan economy and handling balance of payment challenges


Muzaffar Rizvi

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Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE Afzal Mahmood, Nofel Daud, group head of retail banking at BoP, and participants of the webinar organised by the Bank of Punjab at Pakistan pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. -- Supplied photo
Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE Afzal Mahmood, Nofel Daud, group head of retail banking at BoP, and participants of the webinar organised by the Bank of Punjab at Pakistan pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai. -- Supplied photo

Published: Sat 13 Nov 2021, 11:52 AM

Last updated: Sat 13 Nov 2021, 10:00 PM

Non-resident Pakistanis (NRPs) are critical assets of the country as they have been playing a very significant role in stabilising the economy by sending record remittances and making close to $3 billion investments through Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA), experts say.

During a seminar hosted by the Bank of Punjab (BoP) at the Pakistan Pavilion of Expo 2020, industry leaders, bankers and executives said Roshan Digital Account (RDA) is a big success as it receives on average $250 million to $300 million investments every month from overseas Pakistanis.

The seminar was part of a series of seminars and conferences being arranged by BoP at Expo 2020 Dubai during the month of November. Pakistani Ambassador to the UAE, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) officials, BoP executives and partners participated in the seminar, in addition to a large audience of Pakistani expats in the pavilion, as well as through Facebook Live.

285,000 accounts opened

Referring to latest central bank data, Saleem Ullah, executive director for financial resource management at State Bank of Pakistan, said more than 285,000 RDA accounts have been opened so far from across 175 countries since the scheme was launched in September 2020.

"On a monthly basis, the number of accounts opened increased by 9.92 per cent as overseas Pakistanis are keen to avail salient features of the product offering investment and saving options simultaneously," the SBP official.

NRPs in Gulf take the lead

Pakistan Ambassador to the UAE Afzal Mahmood, who was chief guest, echoed similar views and said RDA is an innovative product and it is gaining popularity not only among Pakistani community but also some diplomatic circles as well.

"Some of the ambassadors recently inquired about RDA and have shown interest to develop similar product for their country," the ambassador said.

He said overseas Pakistanis especially in the Gulf region gave an overwhelming response to RDA by investing in Naya Pakistan Certificates, Roshan Apna Ghar and Roshan Apni Car schemes.

"About 1.6 million overseas Pakistanis are residing in the UAE and they have remitted record money through RDA to Pakistan," Mahmood said.

He appreciated BoP for hosting a series of seminars and webinars at Pakistan Pavilion during the expo and said it will help create good awareness among the Pakistani community.

"BoP has promoted RDA to next level as it introduced exciting additional products and features for its customers that are really helpful for overseas Pakistanis," the ambassador said.

RDA gains popularity

Saleem Ullah of SBP gave a detailed presentation on RDA and said overseas Pakistanis are opening 1,000 to 1,200 RDAs daily and it is expected to gain pace in coming months as banks, embassies and the government are creating good awareness among the overseas Pakistanis.

"We have so far managed to tap only five per cent of nine million non-resident Pakistanis worldwide in past 14 months. Three more Pakistani banks are going to join RDA scheme soon and they will add more innovative features to the product to serve the community," he said.

"RDA is a vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan and successfully implemented by SBP to address issues of overseas Pakistanis with reference to banking, investment and social services," he said.

BoP's priority banking

Zahid Mustafa, group chief, consumer and digital banking group at BoP, briefed about the bank's free of charge services for RDA subscribers and said dedicated BoP relationship managers are available around the clock to help overseas Pakistanis in RDA opening and advising on its products.

"We have linked our priority banking proposition, BoP Khaas’, to RDA scheme that will give overseas Pakistani community access to host of services such as personal relationship manager, priority banking, one free bank account service to a friend or family," he said.

NRPs valuable asset

Nofel Daud, group head of retail banking at BoP, said non-resident Pakistanis are valuable asset of the country and the bank is keen to offer them best services under RDA scheme.

Daud, who moderated the seminar, said Roshan Apna Ghar and Roshan Apni Car scheme are very popular among BoP customers.

Atyab Tahir, country head of Mastercard in Pakistan; Yasir Shirazi, founder and CEO of InstaKin, also addressed the webinar and briefed the audience about key features of their company's products and how it would benefit the RDA subscribers.

The session concluded with a question and answer session in which questions from the audience were answered by the webinar panelists.

— muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com

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