State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has launched the country’s first instant Digital Payment System ‘Raast’ in Islamabad on Monday.

Raast is Pakistan’s first instant payment system that will enable end-to-end digital payments among individuals, businesses and government entities instantaneously.

The state-of-the-art Pakistan’s Faster Payment System will be used to settle small-value retail payments in real time while at the same time provide a cheap and universal access to all players in the financial industry including banks and fintechs.

It will also enable secure, efficient and transparent financial transactions.

Pakistan has had low electronic transactions for a number of reasons including low banking penetration, lack of trust and awareness of digital payment methods, limited interoperability, difficult accessibility and high cost of transactions.

The Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) of Pakistan provides instant payment settlements for large value and corporate transactions only. Raast: Pakistan’s Instant Payment System will facilitate retail payment settlements with much great efficiency.

Digital payments only account for 0.2% of Pakistan’s ~100 billion transactions today, whereas the share of digital transactions1 in peer countries ranges from 1.5% to 7%. This can be primarily be attributed to the challenges within the payment ecosystem, which include:


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