KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday directed banks to introduce free person-to-person (P2P) fund transfers under Raast, a digital payment system.
The central bank said it has issued instructions to banks that will enable P2P payments in the country through Raast.
The central bank has been working hard for reforms in the financial system through digitisation and improvement in the payment system. Several measures were taken to bring the payment system on a fast track with minimum time spent.
Developed by the SBP, Raast — an Urdu word that means correct and direct — offers an instant, reliable and zero-cost digital payment system to the people of Pakistan.
The SBP believes that the launch of Raast P2P service will not only provide a convenient and hassle-free digital fund transfer service to customers but will also provide an efficient and enabling payments infrastructure that would pave the way for digitisation of the economy and promotion of digital financial services in the country.
The SBP has provided an explanatory video on YouTube and SBP’s website that explains to the public in simple terms how to make payments and transfer funds using Raast.
“Under Raast P2P fund transfers and settlement services, bank customers would be able to send and receive funds in their accounts using their bank’s mobile application, internet banking, or over-the-counter services,” said the SBP.
For customers’ facilitation, they can set their registered mobile phone number as their Raast ID and link it to their preferred International Bank Account Number (IBAN) using the bank’s mobile application, internet banking, or visiting their bank branch.
“Once a customer has set her/his mobile phone number as the Raast ID, others can send money to her/him using her/his mobile phone number without the need to know the account number or any other details,” said the SBP.
Bank customers can still use Raast service for sending or receiving funds using their IBANs even if they do not have a Raast ID or prefer to use their IBAN.
The SBP has directed all banks to make Raast P2P fund transfer service available on at least three customer channels including mobile application, internet banking and branch counters.
The list of banks that have completed the necessary technological upgrades and other needed preparations and are offering Raast P2P services to their account holders as of today has been issued, said the SBP.
Published in Dawn, February 4th, 2022