‘Raast’ Pakistan’s First Instant Payment System

‘Raast’ Pakistan is the first instant payment system of instant end-to-end digital payments between individuals, businesses, and government agencies. The State Bank of Pakistan developed it. Raast is a fast payment system that will give you low-value retail payments in real-time, providing affordable and universal access to all players in the financial industry, including commercial banks and microfinance banks, government agencies, and fictitious entities. EMIs and PSPs).

Electronic transactions are low in Pakistan for many reasons, including low access to banking, scarcity of trust and understanding of digital payment methods, limited interoperability, complicated access, and high transaction costs. 

Pakistan’s Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) provides instant payments only for immense value and corporate transactions. Raast Pakistan’s instant payment system will facilitate the settlement of retail payment settlement with greater efficiency.

Raast aims to address some of the industry’s crucial challenges within the payment ecosystem: 

  • Limited interoperability: Financial institutions (digital payment service providers) find it difficult to connect due to a lack of necessary centralized infrastructure.
  • The high cost of digital payments to the end-user: End users are charged a high fee for digital transfers, making digital payments inaccessible to many people.
  • The poor experience of users: The end-users go through a complex procedure for digital payments, and merchants do not have widely accepted digital payment methods.
  • Lack of security: Currently available digital payment types and infrastructure do not offer adequate data protection and authentication.¬†

SBP (State Bank of Pakistan) is now introducing Raast Person-to-Person (P2P). Under Raast P2P Funds Transfer and Settlement Services, bank customers will be able to send and receive funds to their accounts using their bank’s mobile application, internet banking, or over-the-counter services. For the convenience of its customers, banks will also allow them to create a Raast ID by linking their preferred International Bank Account Number (IBAN) with their registered mobile phone number. Users can then share Raast IDs with others to receive funds to their accounts. Bank customers can use the Raast service to send or receive funds using their IBAN, even if they don’t have a Raast ID.

Features of Raast

Raast has multiple features to facilitate its users.

Instant Payments: Near real-time digital payments among individuals, businesses, businesses, and government agencies

The Minimum to Zero Transaction Costs For End-Users: Raast works on a cost-recovery model to make digital payments affordable for the end-users across all socioeconomic backgrounds.No charges for Raast-related services.

 The Complete Interoperability, Sector-Wide: Raast will allow all financial institutions to connect through a single link of centralized infrastructure, making digital payments accessible to any financial institution’s customers on any channel. 

Customer-Based Innovative Products / Services: Raast will be built to state-of-the-art technical standards, allowing financial institutions to develop innovative and user-friendly digital payment products and services.The Phone number used to make RAAST ID for payment.

Raast is Reliable With Improved Security: RAAST uses more secure forms of payment, ensures the authorization of every transaction by the payer, and offers better data protection and fraud detection services. 

Fast, Easy, and Offers 24/7 Support: Raast gives instant payments on accounts (on wallet or account or branchless banking). There is no need to remember long IBAN. It is available 24/7. 

Immediate Transaction Status With No Minimum Transaction Limit: Customers will receive immediate status confirmation of each transaction they made With Raast.There is no minimum transaction limit defined.

How to use Raast?

Create Your Raast ID:

Creating your Raast ID helps others send you payments using only your mobile number without remembering the account number or IBANs.

  1. Access the channels provided by your bank (mobile application, internet banking, teller branch, USSD).
  2. Verify your mobile number to link to your account.
  3. Your banking channel will immediately verify your mobile number as your new Raast ID. Only one Raast ID per user and one account per Raast ID are allowed.

Transfer of Funds Through Raast:

Money transfers are possible through Raast even without registering for the sender’s Raast ID.

  1. Access the channels provided by your bank (mobile application, internet banking, teller branch, USSD).
  2. Provide the beneficiary’s IBAN or Raast ID (mobile number) to the banks operating from Raast.
  3. Confirm the amount to send in the limits provided by your bank.
  4. You will transfer payment instantly.

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