PM Launches Pakistan’s First-Ever P2P Instant Payment System

Prime Minister Imran Khan launched Pakistan’s first instant person-to-person payment system ‘Raast’ developed by the State Bank of Pakistan in Islamabad on Tuesday.

Speaking at the occasion, the Prime Minister said that the country’s population can be turned into a real asset by involving them in the formal economy through digitization.

Imran Khan said that Raast would facilitate the common man in making their transactions through cell phones and also help improve the saving rates.

Imran Khan said that adaptation of technology can enhance our saving rates and tax-to-GDP ratio to take the country forward. He said we are also using technology in FBR in order to trace those who are not paying taxes regardless of the lavish lifestyle.

Imran Khan reaffirmed the commitment to lift the people out of poverty, saying that accomplishing the milestone would be one of the incumbent government’s significant achievements.

The Prime Minister also directed the Governor State Bank of Pakistan to establish a special cell to further facilitate the overseas Pakistanis. He said overseas Pakistanis are our biggest asset and we need to further facilitate them.

Finance Minister, Shaukat Tarin, in his remarks, termed Raast instant payment system as a revolution in digital banking, which will promote e-commerce and IT-related exports.

Shaukat Tarin said that the Prime Minister will soon announce some new initiatives to help the lower middle and salaried class affected by the price hike. He said that Raast can also be used in the implementation of those initiatives.

Highlighting the key features of Raast, Governor State Bank of Pakistan, Dr. Reza Baqir, said that this technologically advanced system, which is only available in a few countries, will be completely free and the banks will not charge any fee on it. He asked the people to avail this system for their payments.

The Governor pointed out that $500 billion of e-banking transactions were carried out last year. He said that growth of thirty percent is being witnessed in e-banking transactions, and these will further increase through Raast.

Highlighting the future plants of the central bank, Reza Baqir said that five new digital bank licenses will be soon issued, which will cater to the common man. He said that a system is being launched where the NADRA system will enable people to open their bank accounts remotely. He said that this measure will bring more people into the banking system.

Faiz Paracha is a seasoned broadcast journalist with over 15 years’ experience in reporting and e...