Launch of Raast Instant Payment System

Prime Minister Imran Khan has launched the second phase of Raast, a Person-to-Person instant payment system in a ceremony in Islamabad on Tuesday. Although, this initiative was long-awaited and a delayed endeavor in the direction of digitization of the national economy. According to details, the newly launched system will enable ordinary people to execute digital payments instantly, securely, and conveniently without paying any fee. According to experts, Raast will bring a revolution in the financial system and will open doors for further innovations in the national economy. The first phase of the Raast system was launched in January 2021, which facilitated the bulk payments transactions from organizations to persons that are B2B or B2P. However, the latest facility can be used through the mobile application, internet banking portals, as well as Raast P2P services will be available in the banks.
Pakistan has a semi-industrial economy, largely unformal and non-digitalize, due to which the nation suffers a massive financial deficit because of huge tax evasion, lack of monitoring of business and trade activities, and corruption. Pakistani private sector had introduced several digital wallets including Easy Paisa, Jazz Cash, 1link, and others but Raast is the first of its kind of digital wallet launched by the government of Pakistan. According to analysts, the introduction of the Raast payment system will promote branchless payment culture in the country and people will be making payments from home with security and convenience. According to experts, the digitization of the economy will resolve several worries of the government including tax evasion, corruption as well as budget planning, therefore the government must expedite its efforts in this direction. Earlier, the ATM system of the National Bank of Pakistan failed to compete with the private banks in the provision of quality services to the customers mainly due to the slackness of government employees. Although the launch of the Raast instant payment system is an important milestone, however, effective marketing, flawless operation, and efficient service delivery will be most important for the achievement of the complete success of this newly introduced system.