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Business & Finance

SBP to launch world class ‘Raast’ payment system next week: Kamil

  • “From Monday onwards, the central bank will initiate a new payment system called ‘Rast’, as we believe this a right way forward for the country,” said Kamil.
  • Kamil informed that the upcoming payment system has been implemented in advanced countries i.e. UK and Australia.
Published January 9, 2021 Updated January 11, 2021

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is all set to introduce a world-class payment system called ‘Raast,’ which will be a huge leap in the digitization of the country’s financial mechanism.

The development was announced by the Deputy Governor SBP, Sima Kamil while talking to a private media outlet, she said that the central bank from Monday 11th January, 2021. “From Monday onwards, the central bank will initiate a new payment system called ‘Raast’, as we believe this a right way forward for the country,” said Kamil.

Deputy Governor SBP said that despite the availability of 160 million mobile phones, our digital economic participation is very limited, as people rely on cash for payments. She informed that under the new system, the central bank aims to reduce the volume of cash-based transactions, as a number of social issues arise due to the prevalent system.

Kamil shared that in the first step, instant credit of dividends from listed companies to shareholders will be initiated. “In the next phase, that will take a number of months the payment system would digitize the payments made to government employees in wages and pension, this would be fast, free and safe,” she said.

Earlier, Governor SBP Reza Baqir briefed the forum about the significant progress made since the last stakeholder’s consultative meeting and the important steps taken by SBP to facilitate digital payments.

He said that the development of Pakistan’s Instant Payments System project powered by SBP in collaboration with its partners has progressed significantly and the Prime Minister of Pakistan will soon launch the completion of its first phase. This phase will enable instant transfer of dividend payments directly into the bank accounts of investors by Central Depository Company (CDC).

Talking about the scope of ‘Rast’ payment system, Kamil informed that in the next phase the upcoming payment system would digitize the BISP and Ehsaas payments by June. “Some 16 million women would be facilitated with this system,” she said.

Kamil informed that the upcoming payment system has been implemented in advanced countries i.e. UK and Australia.

The Deputy Governor SBP informed that after June, ‘Person to Person’ payments will begin and by December, a common man could make payments through QR codes.

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