Pakistan to launch its first Instant Payments System

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State Bank of Pakistan

Pakistan’s first Instant Payments System set to launch in the country. The Governor SBP (State Bank of Pakistan) said in the third nation-wide stakeholders’ meeting on digital financial services.

Dr. Reza Baqir, the governor SBP, said on Thursday that the Prime Minister, Imran Khan, will soon launch the completion of the first phase of the country’s Instant Payments System project soon. The SBP wants to accelerate the agenda on promoting digital financial services and payments in the country, he added.

The meeting, hosted by the SBP, saw the attendance by the World Bank country director, secretary MOITT, Accountant General of Pakistan Revenue (AGPR), secretary BISP, representatives from NADRA, PTA, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF), Karandaaz, and CEOs/presidents of banks, telcos, and Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs), and other stakeholders.

The governor briefed about “the significant progress” made since the last meeting and the “important steps” taken by the State Bank to facilitate digital payments. He also noted that the development of the project has progressed highly significant that the PM will soon launch its first phase in the country.

“This phase will enable instant transfer of dividend payments directly into the bank accounts of investors by the Central Depository Company (CDC),” said the governor.

Dr. Reza Baqir
Dr. Reza Baqir – Photo / Habib University

Baqir also included that “the completion of this phase in a reasonable time despite disruptions due to Covid-19 is commendable and the SBP appreciated the continuous support of its partners and other stakeholders.”

The State Bank of Pakistan has fast-tracked the licensing application process for EMIs to accelerate digital payments by the non-bank players. The central bank has also made amendments in the foreign exchange manual to facilitate easy cross-border flows of retail payments and venture capital funds.

Various other initiatives also accelerated the pace of the digitisation in the country including the successful introduction of the digital account opening and provision of lifestyle banking and investments by banks through the Roshan Digital Accounts (or RDA for short) for non-resident Pakistanis, said the governor.

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