Prime Minister Imran Khan on Tuesday launched Raast, Pakistan’s first person-to-person payment system for instant digital transactions. Addressing the launch ceremony in Islamabad, he said it would create ease for the masses, especially those who were afraid of going to banks, and it will also bring them into the fold of formal economy.
Raast is part of Prime Minister Imran’s Digital Pakistan vision to include the poor segments of society in formal economy. It has been developed by the SBP in collaboration with Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Karandaaz, Pakistan.
KEY FEATURES OF RAAST:
• Easy-to-use, digital and efficient payment system
• Boost financing for small businesses.
• Promote enabling regulatory environment for new players.
• Facilitate individuals, businesses, fintechs, government entities
There are a few private digital cash transfer systems, such as Jazzcash and Easypaisa, but Raast would be the first to link government entities and financial institutions.
It has been described as “a catalyst for providing sustainable opportunities to small businesses and individuals”.
The system will be rolled out in three phases, starting with bulk payment module, which will include digitisation of payments, salaries, pensions and other payments of government departments. In the next phase, Raast will digitise payments of micro and small business owners, and finally seamless person-to-person payments.