On Tuesday, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) announced the debut of an online payment system for merchants on Raast that will allow them to collect quick payments from customers using mobile phones.
SBP To Launch Formally Merchants Online Payment System on Raast
The Raast rapid payment platform includes a person-to-merchant (P2M) payment system, which is anticipated to be formally introduced in the coming weeks, with six companies already participating in the new payment journey.
“I am pleased to inform you that the third use case P2M has also been deployed since September 3, a couple of weeks ago, and I am pleased to inform you that six entities have already been onboarded on P2M,” Qazi Shoaib Ahmad, Director, Payment Systems Policy & Oversight Department, SBP, said at the 21st conference on ‘Future Banking Summit 2023.
“P2M will be a game changer in terms of Raast adoption at the industry level,” he said, adding that the six entities include Bank Alfalah, MCB Bank, Allied Bank, JS Bank, Easypaisa, and 1Link.
Raast P2P Online Payment System
Previously, the central bank had launched Raast for person-to-person (P2P) and bulk financial transactions.
The SBP is also working to get more banks on board with the P2M initiative. According to him, only a few of them are in the pilot stage.
In addition, the central bank has previously published specifications for compatible QR codes.
Raast’s P2P and P2M use cases have included QR codes. “We believe this is the way to go, and QR payments will be game changers.” It would be the most beneficial service to the unbanked populace.”
Raast’s initial adoption, according to Ahmad, has been fantastic. So far, more than 32 million account holders have registered with Raast, and 225 million transactions totaling more than Rs. 4.6 trillion have been completed on the Raast platform.
Furthermore, the central bank is particularly interested in studying how digital currencies are used around the world.
In the future, the project could aid the state bank in building its own CBDC (central bank digital currency).
Cyber Security Measures
According to him, the SBP is working on an initiative to avoid digital fraud by employing artificial intelligence (AI).
“We are working on two initiatives. One is in-house and the other is…we are working with an international vendor. So we are basically working on the model for predicting the frauds.”
He continued, “Once this model is developed, we intend to embed it on the Raast platform.” As a result, it will undoubtedly be beneficial in terms of protecting clients from potential fraud.
Use of Blockchain Technology
He said, “Another area of new technology is the use of Blockchain and its use in terms of developing CBDC.”
CBDC has sparked a lot of attention around the world. According to Ahmad, the SBP has been eager to learn from other central banks and is in contact with IFIs (international financial institutions) such as the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
“We are trying to understand different dimensions of CBDC. So we are creating this path quite cautiously. The SBP has also taken industry consultation on this front especially. So that is how the State Bank is approaching CDBC,” he said.
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