The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is launching a world-class payment system called ‘Rast,’ taking ahead digitization of the country’s financial system. Deputy Governor SBP, Sima Kamil announced the update while talking to media. The new payment system has already been implemented in advanced countries i.e. UK and Australia.

Deputy Governor SBP shared her observation that Pakistan’s digital economic participation remains very limited, despite the availability of 160 million mobile phones, as people are used to cash for payments. She mentioned that under the new system, SBP aims to increase digital payments and reduce the cash-based transactions volume.

Sima Kamil mentioned that in first phase of the new system, instant credit of dividends from listed companies to shareholders will be initiated. She further mentioned, “In the next phase, that will take a number of months the payment system would digitize the payments made to government employees in wages and pension, this would be fast, free and safe” .

Governor SBP Reza Baqir mentioned that the development of Pakistan’s Instant Payments System project backed by SBP in partnership with its partners has progressed significantly and the Prime Minister of Pakistan is expected to soon launch the completion of its first phase. This phase will enable instant transfer of dividend payments directly into the bank accounts of investors by Central Depository Company (CDC).

While in the next phase the payment system would digitize the BISP and Ehsaas payments by June which will benefit 16 million women through the new this system.

Deputy Governor SBP further informed that later in the year ‘Person to Person’ payments will begin which will help general public to make payments through QR codes.

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