Raast: Pakistan's Digital Payment System for Going Cashless

Raast: Pakistan's Digital Payment System for Going Cashless

The first instant payment system of Paistan, Raast means Barah-e-Raast in Urdu (Instant or Live in English). It is a digital payments gateway system introduced by PTI government of Pakistan at the hands of Prime Minister Imran Khan. While Bill Gates is backing this project, Raast could drastically change the way transactions happen in Pakistan. Making it a leap forward into Fintech, Raast app, and Raast platform could help other Fintech startups and companies to do better in the country.

According to sources, the Pakistani government will make sure that the system is helping individuals, businesses, and also government entities to make transactions happen at a fraction with minimum cost-per-transaction. This will help small businesses as well as large brands to increase their profits and safely send/receive payments.

Here's a series of Tweets by Ammar Khan aka Rogueonomist explaining what's Raast:

What is Raast? An Explainer:

1. It simply allows payments to be processed instantly. Each Bank has its own payment system, like a pipe. Many pipes not talking to each other, or just talking to each other once a day. Raast is that one big pipe to which everyone can connect.

This explains that Raast will provide a medium for Pakistani monetary systems and Fintech to reach one server-side and make transactions instantly.

2. Once all pipes are connected, data (and payments) flow instantaneously. Like electrons (and hopefully w/ less bureaucracy. Say you put in a cheque for clearing -- it takes 2-3 days for it to clear. With Raast, it can theoretically be done in a few minutes. 

Meaning, you will never have to wait for your check to be cleared. You will get instant transfers in your bank accounts or instant cash in your hands.

3. You want to send money to a friend, the fee is too high -- w/ Raast the cost should be close to zero, or minimal. You want to invest in stock market, but don't know how to? A dedicated app built on Raast can enable investment with a few taps on the screen.

It will be a true alternative to PayPal and this could happen if any Fintech company adopts Raast as its backend and provide users with free friend-t-friend money transfers with a step-forward of enabling Pakistanis to invest in the stock market that seems impossible for now.

4. You want to consolidate ALL your bank accounts and credit cards in one tidy app updating automatically, it is possible through Raast. You want to receive remittance, or freelance income (re: Paypal), Raast can enable that. 

A big loophole in the Pakistani economy is that nobody was thinking about freelancers and digital companies. Raast is the first system that will lead such transactions and let you manage all your accounts and cards in one app.

5. You want x% of your income every month to be automatically invested in a portfolio of your choice, Raast can do that. The use-cases, and possibilities are endless. A growth mindset, and little less bureaucracy is what is required

Raast could also help you to automate your investments and earn while you are sleeping. That's a dream for Pakistanis, becoming a reality.

6. Raast is a payments stack. It needs to be built on an identity stack. Customer onboarding requires a digital identity & KYC which NADRA & other regulators can facilitate. Without an identity stack, the payments stack will struggle. This is the time to move beyond CNIC copies.

Here comes a problem. For the Raast apps or system to work properly, we need to make sure that the users are real and verified and for that, we need a digital identity and this is why some Pakistanis are questioning the system.

Whatever the Raast will do to Pakistani payments, it is going to enable various startups and companies to do better. What do you say?