Now Send and Receive Money Free of Cost with RAAST Digital Payment

Pakistan, a country with a population of over two hundred million and sixty percent of them are under 30 years of age, is right for a digital revolution. Pakistan's banking sector has been expanding since independence. Conventional networks of banks with online branches, interoperable ATMs, POS, and branchless banking agents offer a wide range of services to the public such as internet banking and mobile applications. Pakistan is one of few countries that also has its own domestic payment card scheme PayPak which has now gained a sizeable market share. Due to these initiatives, Pakistan has made a promising increase in digital banking over the last few years. The volume and value of retail electronic transactions have almost doubled. Despite various efforts by government and state bank around fifty percent of the adult population mostly women still lag access to formal financial services in Pakistan. Apart from this, people like to pay in cash because it is easier, widely acceptable and cheaper compare to other modes of payment. To address these issues and rapidly modernize their economies, countries e.g. UK, Singapore, Turkey, Malaysia, Thailand and Brazil are increasingly deploying instant payment systems at the retail level for domestic transactions. This new class of payment systems provides fast and cheap digital payment options to customers just like cash.

In 2020, State Bank in partnership with Karandaaz Pakistan, a primary delivery partner of Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, started work on the development and deployment of state of the art instant payment system. This system has been developed based on international best practices and standards with the aim of providing easy, convenient and faster payment services to the people of Pakistan. This system has been deployed at the State Bank of Pakistan and will quickly and securely connect government departments, banks, businesses, corporates to digitize payments. With the launch of its own instant payment system, Pakistan enters a new era of digital transformation where every citizen can make and receive payments digitally with ease and convenience. 

RAAST is Pakistan's own instant payment system.

What is Raast?

SBP (State Bank of Pakistan) has developed Pakistan’s first Instant payment system, Raast. It offers instant, reliable and free-of-cost digital payment services to the people of Pakistan. With the launch of Raast, Pakistan has joined a select club of countries that have either launched or are in the process of launching Instant payment systems. The Raast system is fully owned and operated by State Bank of Pakistan.

Under Raast P2P fund transfers and settlement services, bank customers would be able to send and receive funds in their accounts using their bank’s mobile application.

It has the following features:

  • Free of Cost
  • Simple
  • Fast
  • Secure
  • 24/7 support
  • No minimum transaction limit
  • Interoperability between the account holders of all the member banks

How to use Raast Digital Payment

To facilitate their 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. The customers can then share Raast ID (i.e. Mobile Number) with others to receive funds in their account. Bank customers can use Raast service for sending or receiving funds using their IBANs even if they do not have a Raast ID.

Transferring funds via RAAST is possible even without the sender registering for RAAST ID.


How to Create RAAST ID

Creating your Raast ID helps others send payments to you using your mobile number only without remembering account numbers or IBANs.
  1. Access your bank’s provided channel (mobile application, internet banking, branch over the counter, USSD).
  2. Authenticate yourself and confirm your mobile number to link to your account.
  3. Your bank channel will instantly confirm your mobile number as your new Raast ID. Only one Raast ID is allowed per customer and one account per Raast ID.

How to Transfer Funds via Raast

  1. Access your bank’s provided channel (mobile application, internet banking, branch over the counter, USSD).
  2. Specify beneficiary’s IBAN or Raast ID (mobile number) on Raast-enabled banks.
  3. Confirm the amount to be sent within the limits provided by your bank.
  4. Your payment will be transferred instantaneously.

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