- Steps aimed at increasing usage of digital financial products and services, says central bank
The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has announced two new initiatives to facilitate the introduction of digital financial products and services by financial institutions, including a facilities for digital cheques clearing, and a unified QR code for payments.
The developments were shared at the 5th stakeholders meeting on Digital Financial Services, which was attended by various stakeholders, said the SBP in a statement issued on Wednesday.
SBP Governor Dr Reza Baqir said that the central bank is actively exploring the development of Open Banking, which allows sharing and leveraging of customer-permitted information among financial institutions to facilitate consumer choice, promote competition and efficiency in the financial sector, and encourage the introduction of innovative products and services.
The initiatives are targeted towards the overarching objective of accelerating digitalisation and financial inclusion. The central bank said that the digital cheque clearing initiative will replace physical presentation and clearing of cheques, reducing the time involved.
The second initiative, the introduction of a unified QR code, will allow payments by users from any digital application eliminating the need to use separate apps. Baqir said that the SBP will continue to promote innovative digital financial services and is ready to facilitate these endeavours by resolving issues as far as possible.
Briefing the participants on the progress made on SBP’s Raast payment platform, Baqir said that the second phase of person-to-person payments would be launched by October 2021 for which banks are being integrated with Raast.
During the meeting, SBP and Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) announced the formation of a SBP-PTA joint taskforce to work towards the prevention of frauds in digital financial services. In addition, the SBP and FBR have also agreed to form a joint committee to collaborate on a regular basis to increase digitisation in the economy.