RAAST: Pakistan's Instant Payment System
Raast is Pakistan’s first instant payment system that will enable end-to-end digital payments among individuals, businesses and government entities instantaneously. The state-of-the-art Pakistan’s Faster Payment System will be used to settle small-value retail payments in real time while at the same time provide a cheap and universal access to all players in the financial industry including commercial banks, microfinance banks, government entities and fintech (EMIs & PSPs).
Pakistan has had low electronic transactions for a number of reasons including low banking penetration, lack of trust and awareness of digital payment methods, limited interoperability, difficult accessibility and high cost of transactions. The Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) of Pakistan provides instant payment settlements for large value and corporate transactions only. Raast: Pakistan’s Instant Payment System will facilitate retail payment settlements with much great efficiency.
Raast aims to address some key industry challenges within the payment ecosystem:
- Instantaneous Payments: Near real-time digital payments across individuals, merchants, businesses, and government entities
- No transaction costs for end users: Raast is designed to operate free of cost to end users of all socio-economic backgrounds
- Full sector-wide interoperability: Raast will 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 will be built on cutting-edge technological standards, allowing financial institutions to develop innovative and user-friendly digital payment products and services (e.g. payment through phone number as RAAST ID).
- Reliability and enhanced security: RAAST uses more secure payment types, ensures that each transaction is authorized by the payer, and offer enhanced data protection and fraud detection services.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q1: What is Raast?
Raast is Pakistan's first instant payment system that will enable end-to-end digital payments among individuals, businesses, and government entities seamlessly. This service is now available for individuals with bank accounts to seamlessly transfer funds to other individuals with bank accounts.
Q.2: Why should I use Raast?
Raast will connect you with every bank. Raast offers a simple, fast, secure and convenient way to transfer money from one bank account to another.
Q3: How do I start using Raast?
You can start using Raast through banks that have connected on the Raast network. Please reach out to your bank to see if they are offering Raast.
Q4: Which partner banks are currently active?
Please see the list of current partner banks (https://www.sbp.org.pk/dfs/Raast-P2P.html#2)