A visit to this South Asian gem Pakistan will provide a distinct perspective from what is shown in the media. If you look closely enough, you may discover a breathtakingly gorgeous nation that is rich in culture, history, and customs. Additionally, traveling to Pakistan is relatively affordable. You can easily survive on $100 USD every week. But how can you get enough money to really appreciate this special experience? To learn all there is to know about banking and money in Pakistan, read this article.
What is the official currency of Pakistan?
The official currency of Pakistan is the Pakistani Rupee (PKR). The rupee is symbolized by “Rs” and the code is “PKR”. The State Bank of Pakistan which is the central bank of the country issue Pakistani currency. Pakistani banknotes come in Rupees 10, 20, 50, 100, 500, 1000, and 5,000. Coins come in 1, 2, and 5 rupees. Foreign currencies can be changed at local and international banks in Pakistan, or by authorized money changers in Pakistan.
Local and international banks in Pakistan:
There are many local and international banks in Pakistan that tourists can use for money exchange or money withdrawal.
International Banks in Pakistan:
Standard Chartered Bank: Standard Chartered Bank is a big bank in Pakistan. It was the first global bank to acquire a license for Islamic banking in Pakistan and the first bank to open an Islamic banking branch. This bank has been in Pakistan for 150 years. It started in 1863. It helps both regular people and big companies. For regular people, it provides credit cards, loans, and money management services. For big companies, it provides trade finance, lending, and other financial services. It also has services that follow Islamic laws. The bank has over 2,800 employees and 40 branches in 10 cities. Standard Chartered bank accepts Mastercard and Visa cards with a wide branch and ATM network that you can use for your foreign credit cards.
Deutsche Bank AG: Deutsche Bank has been in Pakistan for the past 60 years. It started in 1962. Today, it has almost 100 employees in its branches in Karachi, Islamabad, and Lahore. The bank offers a lot of services to Pakistan-based clients. These services include fixed-income sales and trading, foreign exchange, trade finance, treasury solutions for corporates, and cash management. Deutsche Bank Pakistan only has three branches in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi and offers only corporate services.
Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Limited (ICBC): The Industrial and Commercial Bank of China is a Chinese bank in Karachi, Pakistan. It opened in 2011 and started providing services like taking deposits, exchanging money, sending money, lending money, and helping with trade. It can also help you deposit and withdraw certain currencies if you have an account with the bank. ICBC only has three branches in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi.
Citibank N.A: Citi has been a bank in Pakistan for over 60 years. It’s a big bank that helps big companies and businesses. This bank has been successful in Pakistan because it has good products and knows a lot about the local market. Many people who work at Citi go on to work at other banks and help shape the financial industry in Pakistan. Citibank only has three branches in Islamabad, Lahore, and Karachi.
Local Banks in Pakistan:
There are several local banks in Pakistan that provide a wide range of financial services to individuals and businesses. These banks have a strong presence in the local market and have a good understanding of the financial needs of their customers. Some examples of local banks in Pakistan include Habib Bank Limited, National Bank of Pakistan, MCB Bank Limited, and United Bank Limited. These banks offer services such as personal and business banking, loans, credit cards, money exchange services, and investment opportunities. They also have a wide network of branches and ATMs across the country to serve their customers.
If we talk about debit and credit cards then there is not a single ATM or point-of-sale terminal in Pakistan that does not accept PayPak (domestic payment service), UnionPay, Visa, and Master cards. Few banks accept American Express cards as well.
Habib Bank Limited (HBL): HBL is the biggest local bank in Pakistan. It was the first local bank to open in Pakistan in 1947. Today, it has a lot of branches and ATMs all over the country and the world. It serves over 27 million customers. It has more branches and ATMs than any other private bank in Pakistan. Habib Bank Limited accepts Mastercard, Visa, and UnionPay.
Allied Bank (ABL): Allied Bank is an old bank in Pakistan. It started out in Lahore as Australasia Bank before Pakistan became a country in 1942. In 1947, it became the Allied Bank of Pakistan. In 2004, the bank was bought by a group of people and was rebranded as Allied Bank Limited. ABL bank has been around for 75 years and is strong with a lot of money, assets, and customer deposits. This bank helps people with a lot of services and has a big focus on helping regular people. ABL bank has over 1425 branches and 1500+ ATMs in Pakistan. It also offers technology-based products and services to its customers. With UnionPay and Visa, Allied Bank invites you into a world of comfort and security as it is accepted in thousands of ATMs across the country.
United Bank Limited (UBL): United Bank Limited is one of the top local banks in Pakistan. It was established on 7th November 1959. The bank has more than 4M customers. It has a wide network of more than 44,000 branches and ATMs across Pakistan. UBL has branches on 4 other continents as well. United Bank Limited ATMs accept Visa, Master Cards, and UnionPay.
Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited: HABIBMETRO Bank is a big bank in Pakistan. It started in 1992 and is a public company. It is a leading trade finance bank and operates in more than 190 cities with 490+ branches of which 60 are Islamic branches. The bank helps people and businesses with retail, corporate, commercial, and Islamic banking services. It also offers technology-based services like mobile and internet banking and has a network of 510+ ATMs across the country. Habib Bank AG Zurich is the parent company of HABIBMETRO, it’s an international banking group with branches in 10 countries across 4 continents and has a long history of banking and commerce since 1841. Habib Metropolitan Bank Limited accepts Mastercard, Visa, and UnionPay at their ATMs nationwide.
Bank Al-Habib Limited: Dawood Habib Group is a company that has a long history of banking dating back to the 1920s. They were one of the original members of Habib Bank Limited, which played a major role in fulfilling the financial requirements of Pakistani people but was nationalized in 1974. Later on, the group was allowed to open a new bank, Bank AL Habib. It was set up as a public company in 1991 and started banking operations in 1992. In just 28 years, the bank has grown its assets to over 1 trillion Pakistani Rupees, with a network of over 1075 branches in Pakistan, a wholesale branch in Malaysia, Bahrain, and sub-offices in Istanbul, Dubai Kenya, and Beijing. Bank Al-Habib Limited accepts Mastercard, Visa, and UnionPay at their ATMs as well.
JS Bank Limited: JS Bank is a local bank in Pakistan that is growing rapidly. They now have branches in almost all major cities of Pakistan and other countries as well. The bank was established in 2006 through the merger of two large companies. JS Bank Limited accepts Mastercard, Visa, and UnionPay at its ATMs nationwide.
Faysal Bank Limited (FBL): Faysal Bank Limited is a bank in Pakistan. It was started on October 3, 1994. FBL is a fully Islamic bank and does commercial, retail, and corporate banking. The bank has branches in over 270 cities and a network of 700 Islamic banking branches. It is a commercial bank and has been given a license by the State Bank of Pakistan to do Islamic banking. This makes it the second-largest Islamic bank in Pakistan. It follows the rules set by the Banking Companies Ordinance, of 1962. Faysal Bank Limited accepts Mastercard, Visa, and UnionPay.
Soneri Bank Limited: Soneri Bank is a bank in Pakistan. It was started on September 28, 1991. The bank’s goal is to provide new financial solutions and good customer service. The bank has grown and now has more than 360 branches and ATMs across Pakistan, including 30 pure Islamic banking branches. The bank does different types of banking like branch banking, treasury, corporate and investment banking, financial institutions, SME, and Islamic banking. The bank’s Islamic banking unit is growing quickly and currently has 35 devoted branches all over Pakistan. Soneri Bank Limited accepts Visa, Mastercard, and UnionPay foreign cash cards.
SILKBANK Limited: Silkbank is a bank in Pakistan. It was called Saudi-Pak Commercial Bank before. This bank is located in Karachi and now has 123 branches in 39 cities. The ATMs of SILKBANK Limited accept Visa and Mastercard.
Summit Bank Limited: Summit Bank is owned by a company called Suroor Investments Ltd. This bank is the merger of Atlas Bank Ltd and MyBank Ltd. Summit Bank have more than 193 branches and an ATM network across Pakistan. The bank accepts Visa, Mastercard, and UnionPay.
Samba Bank Limited: Samba Bank is a bank in Pakistan that is mostly owned by a company in Saudi Arabia called Samba Financial Group. The bank’s goal is to be a well-known bank in Pakistan by providing good services and new products. It wants to be a full-service bank for consumers, companies, and investment banking. The bank is working to expand its products and services across Pakistan. Samba Bank has branches and ATMs in many cities in Pakistan. Mastercard and Visa cards are accepted by this bank’s ATMs.
Askari Bank: Askari Bank Ltd (ABL) is a local commercial bank. It was established on 9 October 1991, and then on 21 June 2013, the bank was completely acquired by the Fauji Group. Askari Bank now has 560 branches and an ATM network across Pakistan and a wholesale bank branch in Bahrain. Askari Bank gives you the facility of using UnionPay in all ATMs across Pakistan.
Bank Alfalah: Bank Alfalah is one of the big banks in Pakistan. It has many branches and ATMs, more than 850, in over 200 cities in Pakistan. This bank is also in other countries like Bangladesh, Afghanistan, United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain. It has an office in Abu Dhabi too. The bank is owned and controlled by Abu Dhabi Group. It was started as a public company on June 21, 1992, under the Companies Act, of 2017, and began its banking operations that same year. Bank Alfalah gives you the facility of using Visa, MasterCard, UnionPay, and American Express in all ATMs across Pakistan.
Muslim Commercial Bank Limited (MCB): MCB Bank is the oldest and largest bank in Pakistan. It started as a private company in 1947. The bank is mostly owned by the Nishat group, which is a big company with different businesses like cement, textiles, banking, power generation, insurance, hotels, dairy, agriculture, paper products, and car manufacturing. MCB Bank has a large network of over 1,400 branches and over 1,450 ATMs in Pakistan, and branches in Bahrain, Sri Lanka, and UAE. The bank has over 8 million customers, and customers from around the world can access the bank 24/7. MCB ATMs accept Visa and MasterCard for the withdrawal of money.
National Bank of Pakistan: The National Bank of Pakistan is a bank owned by the government of Pakistan. It is a part of the State Bank of Pakistan. The bank is based in Karachi, Pakistan. It has 1,511 branches and ATMs all over Pakistan. National Bank of Pakistan gives you the facility of using Visa and MasterCard in all ATMs across Pakistan besides UnionPay.
Meezan Bank: Meezan Bank is the best and the first Islamic bank in Pakistan. The bank is one of the fastest-growing banks in Pakistan. The bank’s goal is to make Islamic banking the first choice. It started operations in 2002 after getting a license from the State Bank of Pakistan. The bank provides many Islamic banking products and services through 900 branches in more than 250 cities in Pakistan. The bank’s branches use a modern T-24 core banking system, and offer 24/7 services like 950 ATMs. Meezan Bank accepts Master and Visa cards.
Digital Payment Systems:
Easypaisa, JazzCash, and Upaisa, are all examples of digital payment methods that are widely accepted in Pakistan. Tourists can use these payment systems as well and add money to these accounts with the various payment methods, as well as pay for taxis (such as Uber, Careem, InDriver), purchase bus tickets (Daewoo, Faisal Movers), pay at restaurants or hotels, top up their mobile internet subscription, and withdraw money from retailer shops all over Pakistan.
Currency Exchange Companies:
Currency exchange companies (such as Western Union, MoneyGram, etc.) are widely present in cities and villages of Pakistan. So, tourists can use these to exchange money.
Pakistan is still predominantly a cash-based country; however, this is changing as credit and debit cards are becoming more widely accepted in big cities. Having cash on hand can help you pay for daily expenditures like food, transportation, tips, and market purchases.
Do local and international banks in Pakistan accept international credit cards?
Yes, almost all local and international banks in Pakistan accept international credit cards such as Visa, Master Card, American Express, etc.
TIP: Allied Bank Limited (ABL) and United Bank Limited (UBL) don’t charge transaction fees in Pakistan on international credit cards.
If you have more questions about local and international banks in Pakistan as a tourist then ask in the comments section. Locals will guide you about local and international banks in Pakistan.