ISLAMABAD (News10) – Prime Minister Imran Khan on Monday launched the country s first instant Digital Payment System Raast in Islamabad on Monday.
Addressing the launching ceremony in Islamabad on Monday, he congratulated the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) and termed the launch major step forward by the State Bank of Pakistan towards Digital Pakistan.
Raast is part of Prime Minister Imran Khan Digital Pakistan vision to include poor segments of the society in formal economy. It will also enable secure, efficient and transparent financial transactions.
He said that it would help include the low income groups and make them part of the mainstream economy. The premier was optimist that it would go a long way in fighting poverty, particularly in the rural areas.
Imran Khan said the instant payment system would not only document the economy, but also generate more taxes to help build the country. He regretted that only 2.2 million people in a country of 220 million paid taxes, which was not enough to build hospitals, schools and provide other basic facilities of life for the common man. He said only 3000 of the tax payers, pay 70% of the tax.
He said Pakistan’s foreign remittances have been constantly on the rise for the past five months, and has helped stabilize the Pakistan Rupee. He said the surplus current account also played a key role in strengthening the national economy.
PM Imran also extended gratitude to Queen Maxima of the Netherlands and the Pakistan and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for their support in the launch of the program.
Key features of Pakistan’s first instant payment system
Instantaneous payments: Near real-time digital payments across individuals, merchants, businesses, and government entities
Low-to-no transaction costs for end users: Raast is designed to operate at a cost recovery model to make digital payments affordable to end users of all socio-economic backgrounds
Full sector-wide interoperability: Raast would allow all financial institutions to seamlessly connect to each other via a single link to the central infrastructure, making digital payments accessible across any channel to customers of any financial institution
Customer-centric innovative products/services: Raast would be built on cutting-edge technological standards, allowing financial institutions to develop innovative and user-friendly digital payment products and services like payment through phone number or email.
Reliability and enhanced security: Raast would introduce more secure payment types, ensure that each transaction was authorized by the payer, and offer enhanced data protection and fraud detection services.