State Financial institution of Pakistan has released instructions that will enable Person-to-Person (P2P) fund transfers in the land through Raast , Pakistan’s Instant Transaction System developed by the State Bank. Raast —an Urdu word meaning correct and direct—offers an immediate, reliable and zero-cost digital payment system to the people of Pakistan. SBP feels that the launch of Raast P2P service will not only provide a convenient and hassle free digital fund transfer service to customers but will also provide an efficient and enabling obligations infrastructure that would pave the way in which for digitization of the economy and promotion of digital financial services in the country. SBP has furnished an explanatory video on YouTube and SBP’s website that explains to the public in simple terms how to make payments and transfer funds using Raast . The SBP Circular is available at: https://www.sbp.org.pk/disd/2022/C1.htm

Under Raast Person-to-Person (P2P) fund transfers and settlement services, bank customers would be able to send and receive funds in their accounts using their bank’s mobile app, internet banking or over the particular counter services.   Just for customers’ facilitation, they can arranged their registered mobile phone quantity as their Raast ID plus link it to their favored International Bank Account Number (IBAN) using the bank’s mobile app, internet banking, or going to their bank branch. Every customer has set her/his mobile phone number as the Raast ID, others can deliver money to her/him making use of her/his mobile phone number without the need to know the account number or some kind of other details. Bank clients can still use Raast program for sending or receiving funds using their IBANs even when they do not have a Raast IDENTIFICATION or prefer to use their IBAN.

SBP has directed all banking institutions to make Raast Person-to-Person account transfer service available on a minimum of three customer channels which includes mobile application, internet financial and branch counters. Checklist of banks that have finished the necessary technological upgrades along with other needed preparations and are providing Raast P2P services for their account holders as of today is provided below. More banks will begin offering Raast P2P providers after completing their needed technological upgrades and other preparations to offer Raast P2P. The particular up-to-date version of the over table will remain available at the particular SBP’s landing page for Raast and will show the progress of remaining banks in order to integrate with Raast : https://www.sbp.org.pk/dfs/Raast-P2P.html

Banks Mobile App Internet Banking Over the Counter (OTC)
Standard Chartered Bank Yes Yes Indeed
Allied Bank Yes Yes  
Askari Bank Indeed Yes  
Bank Alfalah Yes Yes  
Habib Bank Yes Yes  
Khushhali MFB Yes Indeed
United Financial institution Yes Yes
Faysal Bank Limited Yes  
JS Bank Indeed  
NRSP Yes  
Summit Financial institution Yes
Telenor MFB Indeed
Meezan Bank   Indeed
Bank Al Habib   Yes
Habib Metro Bank   Indeed
Bank of Punjab     Indeed
Soneri Bank     Yes
Bank of Khyber*      
MCB Bank*      
HBL Microfinance Bank*      
Samba Bank*      
Dubai Islamic Bank*      

It is to become noted that these banks will soon be offering Raast P2P services. Meanwhile their customers can receive money from Raast.

SBP has directed banking institutions to ensure that funds successfully transferred through Raast should be credited into the recipients’ accounts within 20 seconds of getting the credit advice through Raast system. In order to advertise the use of digital financial services in the land, banks have been advised not to levy any charges on Raast related services and everything transactions conducted through Raast would be free for end customers. To facilitate banks in this regard, SBP will also provide free of cost Raast services in order to banks. Further, to assist in their customers, banks shall not assign minimum transaction size. In general, banks will allow maximum transaction limits of PKR 200, 1000 per transaction or higher depending on the bank’s assessment of the danger profile of the customer. To get particular account types where the SBP has prescribed limitations from time to time, the maximum transaction limit could be lower than PKR 200, 000 per transaction. SBP has advised banks to get a smooth, convenient and hassle-free user experience to their clients using Raast .

Banks are required to ensure continuous plus uninterrupted availability of all channels on which Raast services are being offered. For this purpose, banks will strengthen their Service Degree Agreements (SLAs) with their vendors and service providers. Banks have also been advised to ensure availability of completely equipped 24/7 Network Operations Center (NOC), Security Functions Center (SOC) and contact center /helpdesk fully furnished with agents who are well versed along with Raast functionality, and an effective customer complaints and differences resolution mechanism for timely resolution of customer problems.

Banks are also advised to take all measures to encourage their customers to use Raast services and facilitate them in its use. In this regard, they shall ensure that customer awareness messages are broadcasted through SMS, emails and digital/social media systems. The enabling instructions designed for Raast’s person-to-person transfers happen to be issued to all banks, Digital Money institutions, Payment System Operators (PSOs) and Payment System Providers (PSPs) and mark the second phase of the rollout of the instant payment system.

Raast has been developed in collaboration with Karandaaz, Pakistan and launched in phases. The first phase of Raast, Bulk Payments, was launched by the Prime Minister in January 2021. With all the launch of Raast, Pakistan joined a select golf club of countries who have either launched or are in the process of launching Instant Payment Techniques. Raast is fully possessed and operated by State Bank of Pakistan.

SBP introduces instant and free of charge person-to-person payments under Raast