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Business & Finance

SBP 'studying' option to launch its Digital Currency in Pakistan: Baqir

  • Baqir said that the introduction of an SBPs digital currency will have a twofold benefit to us.
  • Baqir said that fintech like Stripe and other such big international payment providers are ‘very welcome’ in Pakistan.
Published April 9, 2021

Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Dr. Reza Baqir has said that they are ‘carefully studying’ the option to launch a digital currency in Pakistan.

Talking to CNN, Baqir highlighted the role the central bank has played in the wake of coronavirus in Pakistan and its vision to digitize the country’s financial sector.

Addressing his views on launching a central bank issued digital coin in Pakistan, Baqir said, “We are studying that very carefully. We think that some countries like China are already showing the way.”

Baqir said that the introduction of an SBPs digital currency will have a twofold benefit to us. “Not only does it gives a boost to our efforts for financial inclusion but second, because it is a central bank-issued digital currency it allows us to make further progress in our fight towards anti-money laundering, towards countering terrorism financing.”

“So we are at a stage where we are studying it,” he said.

Baqir informed that they are hopeful to make some announcements on the digital currency in the coming months. “For now we have allowed a framework for digital banks to begin operation in Pakistan,” he said.

On the entry of major global fintech including Stripe's entry into the Pakistani market, Baqir said that fintech like Stripe and other such big international payment providers are ‘very welcome’ in Pakistan.

“Pakistan is the market home to the fifth-largest concentration of people, it is a market where people are generally tech-savvy and it is a market that is waiting to burst as far as digitization is a concern,” said Baqir on the potential of digital banking in the country.

“We are very open and we embrace any global mobile payment operator that wants to come to Pakistan,” said Baqir.

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