The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) launched Pakistan’s first instant Digital Payment System, ‘Raast,’ with the goal of providing citizens with a free, fast, and reliable digital person-to-person (P2P) payments service.
The SBP provided orders to banks on Thursday to permit P2P financial transactions in Pakistan using Raast, Pakistan’s Instant Payment System.
Raast—an Urdu word that means “accurate and direct”—provides Pakistanis with a quick, reliable, and cost-free digital payment system.
The launch of the Raast P2P service will not only provide customers with a convenient and hassle-free digital fund transfer service but will also provide an efficient and enabling payments infrastructure that will pave the way for the country’s digitization and promotion of digital financial services, according to the SBP.
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The SBP has urged all banks to make the Raast Person-to-Person fund transfer service available to customers through at least three channels, including mobile apps, internet banking, and branch counters.
To encourage the adoption of digital financial services in Pakistan, banks have been encouraged not to charge any fees for Raast-related services, and all transactions will be free for end-users.
Raast is being developed in partnership with Karandaaz in Pakistan and will be implemented in stages. Prime Minister Imran Khan introduced the first phase of Raast, Bulk Payments, in January 2021.
Pakistan has joined a small group of countries that have either established or are in the process of developing Instant Payment Systems with the introduction of Raast. State Bank of Pakistan is the only owner and operator of Raast.
Bank customers will be able to send and receive monies in their accounts via their bank’s mobile application, internet banking, or over-the-counter services under the Raast Person-to-Person (P2P) financial transfers and settlement services.
Customers can use the bank’s mobile application, internet banking, or visiting their local branch to set their registered mobile phone number as their Raast ID and link it to their selected International Bank Account Number (IBAN).
Once a consumer has set her or his cell phone number as the Raast ID, anyone can pay money to her or him without needing to know the account number or any other information.
Even if they do not have a Raast ID or prefer to use their IBAN, bank customers can still utilise the Raast service to transfer or receive funds using their IBANs.