Raast has been the talk of the town for quite a while now. However, where there’s something new, there’s slight hesitation – and rightfully so.
What is it? Can we do without it? How safe is it? – these are just some of the questions you might be asking yourself. Rest assured; we’ll put all your worries to rest and debunk a couple of myths while we’re at it.
What is Raast?
Raast, launched in early 2021, is Pakistan’s first ever instant payment system. It instantly enables safe and secure end-to-end digital payments, whether among individuals, businesses or government enterprises. Raast also helps reduce otherwise hefty transaction costs, making small-value payments cheaper.
What Makes Raast Like No Other?
It’s easy to confuse Raast with other online banking service providers and e-wallets such as JazzCash and EasyPaisa. However, there are a few significant differences between the two.
- First and foremost, you don’t need to download a separate mobile application for it. You can simply link it to your existing bank account.
- Next, similar to EasyPaisa, it can be used with any SIM provider, making it accessible to everyone across Pakistan.
- All transactions made via it are exclusive of tax.
Free: You heard that right. Raast is absolutely free with zero hidden charges. That’s exactly why it’s such an affordable digital payment option across all socio-economic classes.
Quick and Easy-to-use Interface: The State Bank of Pakistan really did go all out on this one. From an incredibly navigable user interface and instant payment processions to authentications made just from your mobile number, Raast is made for the masses.
Fully Secure: With security meeting international standards, it has introduced multiple secure payment types that provide enhanced data protection and fraud detection services.
No Minimum Transaction Limit: Remember how previously we could only transfer a certain amount? Well, this hasn’t defined their minimum transaction size.
Round-The-Clock Support: Raast offers customers a 24/7 helpdesk support service. Your call will be directed to a customer service representative who’ll address your concerns.
Vast Network: It isn’t just limited to a handful of banks. It provides central infrastructure allowing interconnections between banks and is accessible to everyone across the nation.
How to Register for Raast
Registering a Raast ID allows for seamless mobile and internet banking using just your mobile number – no more keeping mental notes of long account numbers or IBANs!
For reference, we’re using FaysalDigbank. Whatever bank you use, though, the process will be reasonably similar.
Here’s how to do it:
Step 1. Login
Log in to your bank’s provided medium using your username and password.
Step 2. Raast
Next, click on the tab ‘Raast’ on the left panel and select the ‘Raast ID Management’ option. Then, click on ‘Raast ID Registration’ on the prompt that appears on your screen.
Step 3. Register
Now you need to register your Raast ID by choosing your Raast ID, i.e., your mobile number and selecting your IBAN. Once you’re done, click ‘next.’ Please note that only one Raast account is allowed per customer and mobile number.
Step 4. Confirmation
To finish up, you need to confirm your Raast ID by generating an OTP and clicking next. That’s all – you’ve successfully created your very own Raast account!
How to Use Raast
If you thought that was simple, wait till you try how easy it is to make payments. Please note that payments are restricted to local transactions for now. However, Raast is currently working on making international payments a possibility as well.
Step 1. Raast
Once you’ve logged on to your account, click on the ‘Raast’ option available on the left panel.
Step 2. Payment
Next, tap on the ‘Raast Payment’ option.
Step 3. Specify Transfer Type
You’ll see the following prompt on your screen. Select ‘Transfer to Non-Beneficiary’.
Step 4. Beneficiary Details
Next, click on ‘Raast ID’ and specify the beneficiary’s Raast ID. You can also make payments through the IBAN option. Once you’re done, click next.
Step 5. Specify Amount
Next, specify an amount to transfer. Note: with Raast, there is no minimum limit set on the amount you can transfer.
Step 6. Purpose of Payment
Raast allows you to choose from a number of different purposes, including fund transfers, fee bill payments, utility bills and more.
Step 7. Validation
Once you’ve selected your purpose of payment, you need to generate a unique OTP. Enter the OTP in the empty space provided and click ‘Confirm’.
Step 8. Successful Payment
You’re done! You’ve successfully transferred your very first payment through Raast! You’ll be notified of all the transactions you make via SMS and email.
De-linking and Re-Linking Your Raast ID
Raast only allows a single bank account per Raast ID. If you have multiple bank accounts and want to switch your Raast ID from one bank to another financial institute, all you need to do is:
Step 1. Login
Log in to your bank account that is registered with your Raast ID using your credentials.
Step 2. Raast ID Management
On the left panel, you’ll find the ‘Raast’ option. Click on it and tap on ‘Raast ID Management.
Step 3. De-Link
You’ll see an option to de-link your account from your current bank account. If you’re looking to delete your Raast ID, stopping here is sufficient.
Step 4. Re-Link
Now that you’ve successfully de-linked your Raast ID from your previous bank account, log in to your new bank account and follow the steps listed under ‘How to Register for Raast’.
What Raast Means for Pakistan’s Economy
It’s quite evident that historically, Pakistan hasn’t exactly been at the forefront of electronic transactions. Whether that’s because of limited interoperability, meagre accessibility or general lack of knowledge regarding digital payment systems – the fact remains.
Raast is a big step taken by the previous government towards realizing Pakistan’s true potential. And political differences aside – Raast is, without doubt, a great initiative to move towards a cashless, digitalized economy.
Think of this as one giant hub, with banks, MFBs, PSPs, government entities and everything in between linking right to it. From settling small-value retail payments, salaries and pensions and improving tax collection to providing universal access to stakeholders in the financial industry, Raast allows you to make transactions within seconds.
The Way Forward
With all the major banks already adopting Raast, this initiative is a major stride towards adopting a cash-less economy that discourages anonymity and boosts traceability. In a country where more than 100 million individuals own a mobile phone, the journey to frictionless, digital payments has only just begun.
Have you gotten your Raast ID registered yet? Have any questions you feel like we haven’t answered in this guide? Let us know in the comments below!
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