I.T Exporter & Freelancer-Account & Services

I.T Exporter & Freelancer-Account & Services

BankIslami Pakistan Limited offers a wide range of solutions to facilitate I.T Exporters & Freelancers. The Bank is rapidly growing its local network to manage correspondent relationships across the country. We are equipped with foreign remittance specialists who are professional and can facilitate all your foreign remittance business requirements. Moreover, we have a wide and strong network of correspondent banking arrangements that can cater to and offer Islamic financial solutions.

Details of these services are mentioned below:
Introductory Information

IT companies: mean all such entities (sole proprietorships, partnerships, companies, etc.) registered
with Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) or Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA)
engaged in the export of software, IT & IT-enabled services (ITeS).

Freelancers: mean all individuals, resident in Pakistan, engaged in the provision of any digital/online
services, including IT and IT-related services, against which payments are received from outside
Pakistan.

Source: SBP

BankIslami's Exclusive Services for I.T Exporters & Freelancers
  • Rapid Account Opening with minimal requirements.
  • Freelancers avail of Banking Services with “One-Time Self Declaration” without PSEB  Registration.
  • Open & Maintain  Local & FCY Accounts and Exporters’ Specialized FCY Retention Accounts (ESFCAs).
  • Monthly profit in Saving Accounts on Exceptional Rates.
  • Same-day credit of Export Proceeds within the regulatory framework.
  • Best Exchange Rates.
  • FCY Retention up to 50% of Export Proceeds or USD 5000/= per month (whichever is higher).
  • 100% FCY Retention for I.T Exporters and Freelancers having monthly export earnings up to USD 5000/=
  • Utilization of funds from Exporters Special FCY Accounts for all local (PKR) & Foreign (FCY) permissible payments.
  • 75% withholding tax relief when registered with PSEB.
  •  Automatic Issuance of ePRC and WHT Certificate on demand.
  • Free Services as per Bank Policy (Cheque book, pay-order, online banking, etc).
  • 24/7 access to *Remittance Facilitation Desk* for Guidelines & Banking Solutions.
 
Contact Helpdesk
Primary Account Opening Guidelines

The minimum list of documentary requirements for the Primary Account Opening of Freelancer & IT companies category is as follows:

Freelancer Individual

1) Filled Account Opening Form
2) Copy of Identity Documents (CNIC, NICOP, POC)
3) Copy of Passport (for Foreign Nationals only)
4) Copy of Proof of Registration (where applicable)
5) Copy of Personal NTN (if applicable)
6) Undertaking for freelancing specifying the nature of business

IT Sector Entities

1) Filled Account Opening Form
2) Copy of Identity Documents (CNIC/ NICOP/ POC/ 3)Passport, in case of foreign nationals only) of owners/directors/partners and persons authorized to operate the account
4) Copy of NTN Certificate
5) Account opening request from relevant authority with details of persons authorized to operate the account
6) Copy of Registration with the Pakistan Software Export Board (PSEB) or Pakistan Association of Software Houses (P@SHA)
7) Copy of the entity’s incorporation/registration-related documents in accordance with the business legal structure of the entity
8) Any other relevant document in line with the nature of the activity of the entity

TAT
Within the Same Day of processing

Applied
Please visit the nearest branch of BankIslami.

Requirements for Exporter Special FCY Retention Accounts

The customer will furnish the following minimal requirements in person or remotely through digital means for opening an Exporter Specialized FCY Retention Account under the relevant category:

a) Customer Request

b) PSEB or P@SHA Registration Certificate ( for IT Companies Only )

c) Tax Filer Status

d) Primary PKR Account Details (CIF) for which the subject Exporters Special FCY Retention Non-Checking account is to be opened.

TAT
One Working Day if everything is in order.

Procedure of Exports, FCY Retention & Utilization

Procedure for Exports

For IT companies, Authorized Dealers may obtain a copy of the export agreement(s) invoice(s), or any other supporting document, evidencing the export of services, preferably in an electronic form.

For Freelancers, the export proceeds could also be processed on a self-declaration basis, where underlying export agreements/contracts are not available. Such declaration would be obtained once at the time of opening of account.

Retention & Utilization of Retained Proceeds

Authorized Dealers shall adopt the following procedure for the retention of export proceeds and their subsequent utilization:

a) Authorized Dealers shall open Exporters’ Special Foreign Currency Accounts (ESFCAs) of all such exporters (IT companies & freelancers) concurrently while opening the primary PKR account.

b) IT Companies and Freelancers shall be allowed to retain USD 5,000/- per month or 50% of the export proceeds, whichever is higher, in their ESFCAs. In this regard, Authorized Dealers shall mandatorily credit permissible retained amounts in these ESFCAs, unless an exporter specifically requests in writing to the authorized dealer for less/ not crediting the export proceeds in the ESFCA.

c) The funds available in the ESFCAs can be converted into PKR at any time upon the request of the customer.

d) For IT companies, the balances held in the ESFCAs may be utilized for making all types of payments of a current account nature (for example, imports, acquisition of services from abroad, profit/dividend repatriation against registered shares, etc.), for their own business purposes, without SBP’s prior approval.

e) For freelancers, the balances held in ESFCAs may be utilized for making all personal and own work-related payments of a current account nature (for example, digital services, digital marketing, membership/ subscription fees, acquiring certification, study, etc.) without any approval from SBP.

f) The funds in ESFCAs can also be used for making payments with regard to capital and financial account transactions, such as equity investment abroad and foreign currency loan repayments. However, in case of remittance of such transactions, proper procedure as described in the relevant regulations shall be followed. For example, for equity investment abroad, instructions stipulated in Para 13, Chapter 20 of the FE Manual shall be adhered to.
Similarly, regarding loan repayments, the procedure defined in Chapter 19 would be followed.

g) ADs are required to facilitate the exporters (on specific request) by issuing debit cards against ESFCAs, to make payments against balances held in such accounts. However, no cash withdrawal from these foreign currency retention accounts shall be allowed within Pakistan.

h) The funds of such exporters available in the ESFCA with an Authorized Dealer may be transferred to the same exporter’s ESFCA maintained with another Authorized Dealer, upon specific request of the exporter. The ADs shall ensure that the proceeds being credited are from the ESFCA of the same exporter.

i) The funds available in these accounts cannot be credited/transferred to any other FCY/FE-25 account(s).

Specialized “Remittance Facilitation Desk” in BankIslami for IT Exporters and Freelancers

As an IT Exporter/ Freelancer, you might have clients from different parts of the world. It is important to have a reliable mode of receiving payments and facilitating remittances. This is where a remittance facilitation desk can be beneficial for you.

A remittance facilitation desk is a platform or service that helps you receive and manage your payments from international clients in a simpler and more efficient manner. It serves as a bridge between you and your clients, ensuring that the money is transferred securely and without any hiccups.

With a remittance facilitation desk, you can expect benefits such as:

Quick Account Opening: This ensures that your account is opened without any delay with minimum requirements as per regulations.

Smooth Processing of Payments: This ensures that you receive and make your payments faster and without any delays and furnishes all regulatory requirements as well.

Secure transactions: A remittance facilitation desk adheres to strict security protocols, ensuring that your payments are safe and secure.

Guide and Support: You may get every possible knowledge, support, and guidance related to your banking needs and requirements.

Overall, a remittance facilitation desk can be a useful banking tool especially for IT exporters & freelancers, making their payment process hassle-free and efficient. It allows you to focus on your work while your payments are taken care of seamlessly.

Contact Helpdesk
[email protected]

SBP Circulars , Framework & Guidelines for I.T Exporters & Freelancers

Below is the summary of important Policy Measures taken by SBP to facilitate I.T Exporters & Freelancers in Oct 2023 :

1) In order to encourage the exporters of Software, Information Technology (IT) and IT enabled Services (ITeS), and freelance services to boost their export earnings and bring additional foreign exchange into the country, the retention limit in ESFCAs has been increased from 35% to 50% of the export proceeds and the utilization of the retained funds has been further liberalized. Going forward, such exporters can freely make payments abroad of current account nature from these accounts, without prior approval of SBP. Accordingly, Paras 12 and 36 of Chapter 12 (Exports) have been amended. Moreover, Para 40 of Chapter 12 of FEM will not be applicable to the above-mentioned exports.

2) To further facilitate the freelancers, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has developed a comprehensive framework for opening and operating their bank accounts. Under the framework, freelancers will be able to open an Exporters’ Special Foreign Currency Account (ESFCA) as defined in the Foreign Exchange Manual for retention of export proceeds concurrently with the corresponding primary PKR account, in-person or remotely through digital means. All Freelancer Digital Accounts (FDA) opened so far shall be considered to have been opened under this framework. The banks are advised to facilitate the onboarding of prospective freelancers under the attached framework. These instructions will supersede other instructions pertaining to the Freelancer Digital Account (FDA) provided in the SBP’s Customers’ Digital Onboarding Framework issued vide BPRD Circular Letter 15 of 2022.

The SBP instructions issued by SBP announcing the above policy measures can be accessed at the following links:

www.sbp.org.pk/epd/2023/FECL17.htm

www.sbp.org.pk/bprd/2023/C5.htm

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