The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the central bank, is bringing innovations in the banking system to turn it into a cashless system to tackle the problem of the black economy, said SBP Governor Reza Baqir on Monday.

“We have to take away the use of cash as the use of the digital system for payment is the right way for moving forward,” he said while addressing a launching ceremony of a start-up.

“The digital payment system will be an effective tool in the fight against corruption. Where cash is being used, we face difficulties and the black economy’s modus operandi is cash,” he said while talking about the government’s efforts to introduce a digital payment system.

He said the central bank has started a faster payment system Raast, a digital payment system, to ensure speedy transactions. He said such a system has not been introduced even in the United States, adding that stock market dividends are being paid through Raast as it “transfers money in seconds”.

He said the central bank has taken major steps to support start-ups and digitalisation of Pakistan. He said a “white list consist of international digital service providers has been prepared for allowing people to use these services and made payment through their banks”.

“Amazon, Microsoft, and many other international companies are part of the white list,” the SBP governor said. “If someone wants to hire services of these companies, they can pay up to US$ 200,000 without taking any regulatory approval from the central bank,” he added.

The State Bank has also introduced Roshan Digital Pakistan, offering an easy account opening facility for overseas Pakistan. “More than 100,000 overseas Pakistanis have opened accounts under this programme,” he added.

The central bank has launched this system to tackle the issue of Hawala and Hundi, as bank account opening was a difficult task for overseas Pakistanis.


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