Raast digital payment system

Yesterday, Prime Minister Imran Khan launched Pakistan’s first instant payment system “Raast” to enable end-to-end digital payments among individuals, businesses and government entities instantaneously. On this eve, the Prime Minister said that the launching of the digital payment system is a major step by the State Bank of Pakistan towards Digital Pakistan, and it would help include the low income groups and make them part of the mainstream economy by facilitating them in their day to day life.

This digital payment system is a long waiting step of the State Bank of Pakistan. Pakistanis around the globe were direly feeling it’s need inside the country and abroad. After provision of this platform, there will be a big change in the lives of each Pakistani particularly the disadvantaged and vulnerable segments of our society. The government should integrate this system with all Banks and government institutions so people could pay their utilities bills and make other financial transactions through it from home. This platform should also be enabled for transfer of foreign remittances to Pakistan across the world.

According to the statistics of the State Bank of Pakistan, at time the digital payments in the country stand only 0.2% account of Pakistan’s 100 billion transactions, which is very less as compared to other countries of the region. The government is also planning to disburse salaries and monthly pension to government employees and pensioners through the Raast digital payment system, which is another appreciable decision of the government. The system is a big step toward ease of doing business with speedy payment between the producers and consumers  in real time with cheap and universal access to all industries, banks and financial institutions of the country. The economy of the country will also move toward a well documented formal economy. The digitalisation of the economy will result in revenue generation and transparency. Government must use this technological milestone to full fill FATF Obligations to get rid of its grey list.