Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan on Thursday suspended an agreement signed between MasterCard and National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) during the recently concluded annual meeting of World Economic Forum in Davos for financial transactions.
Earlier,Business Recorder sent a questionnaire to NADRA about the agreement signed between MasterCard and NADRA and sought details about the pact.
However, the NADRA replied that it could answer the questionnaire only after seeking permission from the Ministry of Interior. Later, in the evening the minister took serious notice of the agreement and issued directives to suspend it immediately, confirmed an official of the Interior Ministry.
The minister said that the agreement was signed without seeking written approval from the government. “NADRA has signed the agreement without consultation with the stakeholders, while sensitive security matters were also not kept in view,” the official quoted the minister as saying.
The minister asked NADRA to explain under which law and to what extent the authority is providing a foreign company access to NADRA database. The minister said that the use of technology for financial transactions is welcoming; however, no compromise will be made on the security of national database, adding no institution will be allowed to exceed from its mandate.
According to a press release issued by Mastercard on January 18, Mastercard announced a strategic collaboration with Pakistan’s NADRA Technologies to optimise Computerised National Identity Cards (CNIC) with electronic payment functionality.
The move will allow Pakistani citizens to carry out financial transactions and receive government disbursements by utilising the unique 13-digit identification number of their CNIC.
It says that citizens will also be able to use their CNICs to send and receive domestic and international remittances, eliminating the requirement to physically visit a bank branch or currency exchange house to meet their money transfer needs.