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PayFast, Pakistan’s leading and commercially licensed payment service provider (PSP), has achieved another milestone by going live with Raast Person-to-Merchant (P2M) services. Through Raast, PayFast’s partner businesses can accept payments from their customers through new, faster, and cost-effective payment modes, offering significant benefits for them and their customers.

Launched by the State Bank of Pakistan in 2021, Raast is an indigenous, instant payment system that facilitates quick, round-the-clock money transfers between any bank account and financial institutions. Raast commenced with Bulk and Peer-to-Peer (P2P) payments. In the first half of 2023, P2P payments alone saw 33.2 million transactions worth PKR 789.9 billion. This skyrocketed to 187.8 million transactions valued at Rs3.96 trillion within the first half of 2024.

P2M, the next phase of the initiative, allows consumers to make payments directly to merchants using their Raast ID (IBAN). Large scale businesses, SMEs and freelancers will be able to accept digital payments directly from customers’ bank accounts, which will ultimately foster the goal of creating a cashless economy, enhancing transparency and mitigating cash-related risks.

Raast unlocks a wide range of benefits for businesses. Instant settlements eliminate traditional clearing cycle delays, leading to improved cash flow and more streamlined operations. In addition to this, it offers lower transaction fees, thus boosting profitability, and also empowers businesses to offer a faster and more convenient checkout experience, leading to more satisfied customers and, ultimately, increased sales conversions.

PayFast, through Raast P2M, offers:

E-Commerce: Integration of Raast as a payment method alongside existing methods such as credit and debit cards, digital wallets, and bank accounts on PayFast Checkout.

In-Store QR Payments: Generation of Dynamic and Static QR codes through the PayFast portal, business app, or APIs for quick in-store payments and easy sharing via WhatsApp and email.

Flexible Payment Requests:

RTP (Now): Initiation of a Request-to-Pay that completes instantly upon validation. Ideal for immediate purchases.

• RTP (Later): Creation of payment links through PayFast with Raast as the option. Customers receive a Request-to-Pay notification through their bank app, allowing them to pay any time before the due date.

“PayFast has achieved yet another significant milestone with Raast P2M. We strive to be at the forefront of innovation and to that end, we have developed an in-house tech stack on the emerging technology standard ISO-20022 to seamlessly integrate with the Raast system, thus empowering our partner businesses with new features and services that shall play a pivotal role in their growth. We would like to thank the State Bank’s Digital Financial Services Group for their continuous support and working closely with us” said Adnan Ali, CEO – PayFast.

Speaking on the occasion, Arshad Raza, Chairman at Premier Systems, stated: “This partnership and achievement strengthens PayFast’s position as a leader in efficient payment solutions that benefit both customers and businesses that have placed their trust in us. Raast P2M will open up new opportunities and access to untapped markets, thereby revolutionizing the digital payments landscape of the country.”

PayFast, a leading Pakistani fintech, allows businesses of all sizes to seamlessly accept online payments. Trusted by over half of the E-commerce industry, PayFast boasts a diverse portfolio of over 3,500 businesses, including renowned brands such as Gul Ahmed, Sana Safinaz, Bookme, Elo, and Junaid Jamshed.

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