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Pakistan launches government-run digital payments system

Tuesday 12 January 2021 12:42 CET | News

Pakistan has announced a new government-run digital payment system aimed at boosting financial inclusion and government revenue.

The new system is called Raast or ‘direct way’ and will be rolled out in three phases culminating in early 2022.

The system has been developed through a multi-year collaboration between the State Bank of Pakistan and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, with support from the World Bank, Britain and the United Nations, and aims to boost the involvement of women in the formal economy.

According to Reuters, via Raast, merchants, businesses, individuals, fintechs, and government entities will be able to send and receive payments through the internet, mobile phones, and agents. Furthermore, government payments, including salaries and pensions, will also be made through the new system.

Raast will be rolled out in three phases. The first phase includes a bulk payment module that will allow for the digitisation of dividend payments, salaries, pensions, and other payments from government departments.

In the second phases, Raast will digitise the payments of micro and small business owners or merchants.

The new payments system will eventually provide P2P payments, including features such as sending requests for payments and initiating payments using identifiers such as phone numbers and other aliases.


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Keywords: Raast, Pakistan, Asia, digital payments, financial inclusion, State Bank of Pakistan, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, government payments, merchants
Categories: Payments & Commerce | Online Payments
Countries: Pakistan
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce