PakistanTech

Eid ul Adha: State Bank of Pakistan Introduces QR Code Payments at Cattle Markets

In an effort to curb street crimes and promote financial inclusion, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is set to introduce a QR code payment mechanism at cattle markets nationwide ahead of Eid ul Adha. This initiative is expected to revolutionize the payment experience and potentially tap into an estimated Rs550-600 billion market during the festival.

The SBP is collaborating with 25 banks to enable QR code payments at 50 major cattle markets across the country. This move is part of a broader strategy to expand the application of payments through the Raast Instant Payment System1. The central bank believes this initiative will help people and merchants make secure payments and promote financial inclusion.

Ahmed Sumair, joint director of SBP’s Payment System Policy and Oversight Department, highlighted the central bank’s efforts to enable cattle markets and cattle farmers on QR code in the upcoming Eid ul Adha. “We are working with 25 banks…and have selected 50 major cattle markets to enable QR code payment method there,” he said at the 17th international conference titled 'Mobile Commerce 2024’.

The markets have been identified in all the 15 cities having SBP field offices including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Rawalpindi, Faisalabad, and Hyderabad. “We are covering six cattle markets alone in Karachi on this Eid (falling in mid of June 2024). The project is aimed at solving various pain points including the hassle of carrying cash and making payments to purchase sacrificial animals,” Sumair added.

The project also aims to onboard cattle farmers and expand financial inclusion through Raast. The QR code payment method is expected to revolutionize the payment experience, as the high cost of installing POS machines at merchants has its own limitations. The QR payment has also enabled small merchants to receive payment through online transactions, discouraging the use of cash in the economy.

Merchants can display a QR code to receive online payment in a real-time and hassle-free manner. Reducing the high level of currency in circulation is one of the strategic objectives of the SBP, which can be achieved by enabling digital acceptance points, through QR codes, in every nook and corner of the country.

In recent news, the State Bank has announced the introduction of Raast QR Code payments for purchasing sacrificial animals for Eid ul Azha 2024. This is a massive step towards a digital payment revolution in Pakistan. The State Bank of Pakistan launched the first government-run instant digital payment system in 2022 to boost financial inclusion and reach the 100 million unbanked population.

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