All the basic questions on SBP’s instant payment system Raast answered


State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) on Thursday has issued instructions to banks to process Person-to-Person (P2P) fund transfers in the country via its instant payment system, Raast.

According to SBP, the launch of its app will provide a convenient and hassle-free digital funds transfer service as well as an efficient and enabling payments infrastructure that would pave the way for digitisation of the economy and promotion of digital financial services in the country.

Answers to some of the most common questions on Raast

1. What really is Raast? A simpler way to send & receive money. You will not need to ask for, or share, bank account details. Once you link your mobile number with your bank account, you can ask people to send you money via Raast, to your mobile number. Money will deposit into your linked bank account.

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2. Can I link any mobile number with my bank account for Raast? No. You can only link the mobile number that is registered with your bank as your primary mobile number. You can link that primary number with any of the accounts with that bank.

3. Can I use the same mobile number to link to accounts in different banks? No. If you have the same mobile number with two different banks, you can only link it up to receive payments via Raast with one bank. If you want to switch to another bank account, delink with the first one.

4. If I have two different mobile numbers registered with two banks, can I set up Raast on both? Yes. One number can only be linked with one account, and since Raast is centralized, all banks can check if your number is already linked to another bank account.

5. Do the sender & receiver both have to be registered with Raast for a payment to go through? No. Only the receiver has to be registered on Raast for you to send them money (via Raast) to their mobile number. You will have to register if you want to receive money to your mobile number.

6. How is this any different from IBFT or sending money via EasyPaisa or JazzCash? Compared to IBFT (some banks have started charging again), Raast is free. It is also technically faster, but most customers won’t notice the difference. Unlike Easypaisa or JazzCash, the recipient has to have a bank account.

7. How do I send money via Raast? All banking apps & websites will have a Pay via Raast option in their Payments/Transfers section. To send money, you will enter the mobile number of recipient and the app will return their account title and bank name for you to validate. Enter and send.

8. How do I receive money using my mobile number? Register with Raast through your banking app. This means you’d link your registered number with an account in that bank. After that, ask people to send you money via Raast, and give them your mobile number only. It will deposit in linked account.

9. Are there transaction limits? Right now, the only limits will be the ones imposed by your bank on your app/etc for all inter-bank transfers. With HBL, e.g, that’s 250,000 per day. With UBL, it’s 5 million per day. This will vary from bank to bank.

10. Is there a minimum limit? Technically none. Depends on your banking app/platform. If they let you enter decimals in the amount field, you could send Re 0.01.

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