With the shrinking opportunities of employment in Pakistan, millennials are opening doors of opportunity themselves by selling their services on freelancing platforms. The trend of working from home on personal laptops has further been boosted by the pandemic. In addition to generating new income streams by working from home and bringing a paradigm shift in the overall working environment, freelancing has also triggered a number of positive externalities. Thus the need for specialized bank accounts for freelancers in Pakistan is increasing.
Let’s explore bank accounts for freelancers that offer special services.
Freelancing in Pakistan
Freelancers in Pakistan are offering their services in different areas including graphics & design, IT, data entry, content writing, data analysis etc. The hourly rate of freelancers may be as low as 10$ and as high as 100$ per hour. As quoted in the statement issued on National Freelancing Conference 2021, “The federal minister for IT (Syed Amin Ul Haq) set the target of $3 billion in export remittance inflows from Pakistani IT/ITes freelancers in next three years and asked to prioritize all possible measures to ensure sustainable growth of gig economy in Pakistan”. There are estimated more that on million freelancers working on different freelancing platforms operated within and outside the country and Pakistan ranks in top five countries in terms of the number of freelancers.
Managing Money as a Freelancer
Managing money as a freelancer is no easy task. Without the security and stability of a regular paycheck, it can be difficult to keep track of income and expenses while meeting financial goals. It requires dedication, organization skills and an understanding of your financial situation.
As a freelancer, managing your finances is an absolute must. When you are not employed by an employer, it is up to you alone to track and manage all of your income and expenses. It is important to keep tabs on where what amount of money is being spent in order to maximize profits. Proper money management can help freelancers create a budget that works for their current financial situation while also allowing them to plan ahead for future goals.
Benefits of Having a Bank Account
Freelancing is becoming an increasingly popular career choice, allowing individuals to have more flexibility and freedom in their lives. However, it can be difficult to manage finances as a freelancer without having a bank account. Having a bank account provides valuable benefits that can help freelancers effectively manage their money and maximize their income.
Having access to a bank account allows freelancers to easily separate personal expenses from business-related expenses by using different accounts for each purpose. Maintaining financial accuracy, bank accounts help track taxes and other payments properly. They also offer safety and convenience through features like online banking, mobile apps, and automatic payments. These features enable timely bill payments without the need for writing checks or carrying cash.
They are also the most secure way for freelancers to receive payments from clients because they protect against theft and fraud.
Bank Accounts for Freelancers in Pakistan
Freelancing can be an exciting way to make a living, but it can also present unique financial challenges. As a freelancer, finding the right bank account for your work is essential in order to maximize its potential and stay organized. With many different types of accounts on the market, it’s important to understand what type best suits you and your needs.
The upward trend shown by the freelancing industry does not, however, mean that it is not prone to challenges and issues. One such issue is using the optimized payment gateway to bring money into the country. A freelancer may face additional costs and effort in menial tasks when integrating a local Pakistani bank account with the payment method used for freelancing payments, as it might not be compatible with local banks. Additionally, compliance with foreign currency (FCY) regulations is necessary due to the predominance of freelancing service fees in foreign currency.
Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework by SBP
Going by the growing demand of customers at large and freelancers at particular for seamless digital channels of account opening and contactless interactions, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) developed a policy in Sep 2021 on freelancer accounts and issued “Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework” for digital accounts in various categories including freelancers. The SBP also advised banks to take measures in implementation of the said framework. However, the SBP had to revise its framework in Apr 2022 due to its concerns on banks` asking for unnecessary documents from the customers and delaying the account opening process. The user’s experience of account opening of most of the banks also needed improvement in SBP`s opinion.
Features of revised Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework
Some features of the revised “Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework” are as follows:
- The accounts may be opened in local (PKR) as well as foreign currency
- The onboard channels include website, mobile application, digital kiosks or any other digital medium
- Live photo captured through digital platform
- Online self-declaration form
- The maximum turn-around time to open or decline a freelancer account is two (02) working days from the submission of application
- Customer`s consent on various agreements including account opening terms & conditions shall be taken online (no need to visit the branches physically)
- The customer facilitation shall be ensured through various steps including issuing a tracking number against each application to track the status of an application and availability of illustrative demos on onboarding channels in English and local languages
A Golden Opportunity for Banks
For banks operating in Pakistan, it is a golden opportunity to implement the digital onboarding policy for their customers and attract as many customers as possible. Many of the strict requirements of SBP for account opening have already been relaxed by the regulator for freelancer accounts. Therefore, the banks may tap this new market by offering attractive checking and unchecking digital accounts. This shall not only open a new deposit mobilizing avenue for the banks but also enable them to cross sell other products. Freelancer accounts shall lead to building a strong and reliable customer base and widening the overall customer base.
For this, banks shall need to engrain technology-based products within their delivery and deposit mobilization channels.
As for freelancers, they shall not have to walk down to the branches and perform sit-and-wait exercises. All the journey of account opening from submission of required documents to uploading photos to electronic consent to account number generation shall be digital just like their freelancing work. Maintaining an account with a bank shall be beneficial in a number of other ways e.g. strong bank statement and income history etc.
Benefits of Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework for Freelancers
The customer onboarding framework will assist freelancers throughout Pakistan open bank accounts from the convenience of their own homes. Freelancers use online payment technologies to engage cost-effectively with banking institutions, employees, retailers, and new markets for their goods and services.
Opening a digital bank account only requires a little amount of paperwork thanks to the customer onboarding architecture. This system will aid in accelerating business, account registration for company accreditations, and lowering travel expenses.
Female freelancers will be able to manage their income within this framework because opening a freelancer account requires no paperwork and no travel. Female freelancers will have greater control over their income thanks to digitized transactions sent from their own accounts, which may be advantageous for their whole family.
Specialized Bank Accounts for Freelancers in Pakistan
Many banks now offer special accounts tailored specifically for freelancers, making it easier than ever to get the right banking products for your business needs.
Special accounts offer numerous benefits, including no monthly fees or minimum balance requirements, complimentary online transfers, access to investment products, and credit cards tailored for the self-employed. With these features in place, managing finances as a freelancer just got easier.
In addition to the convenience of these accounts, they also come with added security measures like 24/7 customer service support and fraud protection tools which make them an ideal choice for those who work freelance jobs.
Some of the most popular banks offering specialized accounts to cater to the needs of freelancers in Pakistan include:
HBL Freelancer Account
Now, freelancers can effortlessly register an account with as well as receive money from abroad with no difficulty. HBL Freelancer Account provides accounts in several currencies to meet your transaction needs. You can create an HBL Freelancer Account in PKR, USD, GBP, or EUR.
HBL, one of the largest banks in Pakistan, is offering an exclusive Freelancer Account to its customers aged 18 and over. Only New to Bank (NTB) customers can open this account, using either their CNIC or SNIC. The account offers a secure way for freelancers to manage their finances, allowing them to withdraw Pak Rupee and foreign currencies. The account also includes perks such as access to HBL digital services and specialized banking services tailored towards self-employed individuals.
It allows customers to withdraw up to PKR 500,000 per month with a maximum credit and debit limit of USD 5,000 or equivalent. Additionally, users who open a PKR account get the first year’s PayPak Debit Card for free.
MCB Freelance Digital Account
The MCB Freelance Digital PKR Current Account and the MCB Freelance Digital FCY Current Account are the perfect way to manage finances for freelancers in Pakistan. These accounts allow freelancers to open a current account with just their CNIC, free of cost. MCB offers accounts in local currency (PKR) and various foreign currencies, catering to freelancers receiving payments in different currencies globally.
The MCB Freelance Digital Current Account also offers additional convenience through its e-Account feature. This means that customers can access their accounts online without having to physically visit an ATM or bank branch. Plus, they can transfer money between any other local bank instantly using the company’s secure payment gateway. Customers will also have access to a range of services such as bill payments, money transfers, phone top-ups and more.
UBL Freelancer Digital Account
The United Bank Limited (UBL) offers a specialized Freelancer Digital Account with no initial deposit, and no minimum balance requirement. Anyone can open a digital account through biometric at the nearest ATM. UBL’s innovative Freelancer Digital Account provides freelancers with 24/7 banking services access via its digital app and netbanking.
This account can be instantly opened without paperwork through UBL’s ATMs using biometric authentication. It also provides PKR as well as FCY Accounts that offer multiple benefits such as competitive exchange rates and access to global markets. There are no minimum balance requirements for this account which makes it ideal for those individuals who don’t need regular banking services yet want a convenient way to manage their finances.
With a monthly balance limit of USD $5,000 or equivalent, this Islamic and conventional banking option offers all the features one could need in a digital account. This account comes with free insurance Takaful coverage and a free chequebook as well as a PayPak debit card. It’s easy to use and allows users to make payments online with exceptional security. It also offers free IBFT on Digital App / Netbanking.
Whether you’re an entrepreneur or freelancer, the UBL Freelancer Digital Account is perfect for managing your money in an efficient manner. Enjoy great value banking solutions without compromising on security or convenience.
Meezan Freelancer Account
Exclusively for freelancers, Meezan Freelancer Account is a personal account with a Rupee and foreign currencies base that is available in Current and Savings varieties. Freelancers can now effortlessly collect their service income and remittances in their personal accounts plus take advantage of all the perks of a fully operational account.
With Meezan Bank’s Freelancer Account, users get free cheque books, free pay orders, free internet banking, online branch banking and unlimited withdrawals. Plus, users can also make inward foreign remittances easily and securely.
Meezan Bank’s Freelancer Account puts all of these features within reach without having to worry about any hidden fees or charges. This means that freelancers can make payments quickly and securely without worrying about unnecessarily wasting money. Furthermore, it also offers a wide range of other benefits that make life easier for freelance workers such as 24/7 access to their accounts via mobile phones and cashless transfers across Pakistan.
This app provides users with a debit card, SMS alerts and an opportunity to invest through the bank’s Certificate of Islamic Investments (COIIs). The ability to pay utility bills, fees and conduct other fund transfers in Pakistan has been made easier with the introduction of Meezan’s Internet Banking Facility and Mobile App.
Meezan Bank provides its customer with secure, convenient and reliable banking services through internet banking and mobile app. It has enabled its customer to pay their electricity bills, telephone bills, school fees etc., transfer funds within the bank or between different banks in Pakistan, order cheque books from the comfort of their home or office. Additionally, customers can also open recurring deposits and fixed deposits accounts through the internet banking facility.
Bank Alfalah Freelancer Digital Account
Freelancers can now effortlessly receive compensation for their services instantly into their bank accounts from anyplace in the world thanks to the Bank Alfalah Freelancer Digital Account. In order to effortlessly satisfy their banking needs, freelancers can create a Bank Alfalah Freelancer Digital Account from the convenience of their homes, places of employment, or anyplace else.
This account offers a range of features such as availability in both local currency (LCY) and foreign currency (FCY, USD only), no minimum balance requirement, issuance of a Bank Alfalah Debit Card (only for PKR Accounts) and access to a cheque book.
This digital account is tailored specifically for the needs of freelancers, offering them flexibility and convenience when managing their money. The low cost services are aimed at making financial transactions simpler, providing customers with peace of mind along with total security and privacy.
The Freelancer Digital Account provides users with an impressive range of benefits, including a monthly limit of up to USD 5,000 or equivalent (applicable both on debit and credit limits) as well as the option of withdrawing cash up to Rs. 500,000 or equivalent per day. With these features, this account is designed to help freelancers stay in control of their finances while also allowing them to access funds when needed in an efficient manner.
Other Banking Options
There are several other banks offering specialized bank accounts for freelancers, such as Faysal Islami Burraq Digital Freelancer Account, JS Freelancers Current Account, Taqwa Freelancer Digital Current Account USD (bop), and SC freelancer Account etc.
Choosing the Right Bank
Choosing the right bank is a critical decision that should not be taken lightly. Finding the right bank for freelancers means finding the one that will provide you with the services and features you need to manage your finances in a secure and efficient way. With so many different banks and financial institutions available, it can be difficult to know which one is the best choice for you. It’s important to understand the features of each bank, as well as any fees or restrictions they may have on accounts.
Before making your decision, you’ll want to compare different banks and look at factors such as customer service ratings, online banking capabilities, rates and fees associated with accounts and services offered. You’ll also want to consider how accessible each bank is in terms of locations and ATMs since this could save you time and money in the long run. It’s also wise to read up on reviews from customers who have used the bank before you make your final decision.
The Bottom Line
As freelancers in Pakistan become increasingly numerous, the need for specialized bank accounts to meet their unique financial needs has become more and more apparent. A specialized bank account can provide freelancers with a range of benefits, from control over their finances to access to essential banking services. With the right provider, it is possible for freelancers in Pakistan to have access to tailored banking services that can help them manage their income and expenses better.
As an increasing number of people opt for freelance work, having access to the right banking products is becoming increasingly important. Specialized banks accounts offer a wide range of features that are designed specifically with freelancers’ needs in mind – including low-cost savings plans, flexible credit options and easy ways to keep track of payments received. The introduction of specialized bank accounts for freelancers is a great move forward for many entrepreneurs who had previously found it difficult to access certain financial services.