State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has expanded the capabilities of its instant payment system, Raast, with the formal rollout of person-to-merchant (P2M) online payments. The newly launched P2M payments align Raast with global standards, putting it on par with similar systems in developed and developing nations. Syed Sohail Javaad, SBP’s Executive Director for Digital Financial Services Group, emphasized the transformative potential, citing the rapid transition from cash to mobile banking and the system’s popularity among the tech-savvy youth.
Digital Pakistan: P2M Payments under Raast
The newly introduced person-to-merchant (P2M) system within Raast marks an important milestone, allowing merchants and small businesses to receive real-time payments from their customers. Merchants will have unique aliases on Raast, akin to user handles on social media platforms. Additionally, the system provides flexibility with static and dynamic QR codes, simplifying payment processes for both businesses and consumers. The dynamic QR codes, generated separately for each customer, further enhance the efficiency of transactions.
SBP’s focus on digitization as a catalyst for increased sales highlights the importance of businesses embracing digital modes. With Raast gaining popularity, boasting 34 million unique IDs, and facilitating 1.3 million person-to-person transactions daily, the system has become a preferred choice for the dynamic and tech-savvy Pakistani population. The expansion into person-to-merchant payments further positions Raast as a comprehensive and versatile financial ecosystem, promoting a cashless economy in Pakistan.
Effortless Payments, Global Trends
The P2M system introduces a novel feature called “request to pay,” streamlining bill payments, school fees, and municipality taxes. Customers can now respond to payment requests easily within the Raast app. The feature simplifies transactions and enhances convenience for users, enabling them to respond affirmatively to payment requests for various services; the SBP’s move aligns with global trends, where digital payment systems often greatly increase transaction volumes.