ACCORDING to the World Bank, in 2017, only 18% of Pakistanis had an account with a financial institution. Access to financial services – store money safely, access competitive loans to smooth consumption or purchase assets, take out insurance to withstand financial shocks, send money to relatives making and receiving payments quickly and inexpensively at minimal cost – is increasingly recognized as a basic need in a modern economy.
For the poor, financial inclusion can build resilience, provide a safety net, and make day-to-day financial transactions more convenient. For a daily bet, for example, sacrificing a day to visit a BISP center or to pay utility bills can result in a significant loss of wages. The majority of Pakistanis do not have access to payment services that would enable them to perform such transactions efficiently and at low cost.
This is where many are hoping Raast will make a difference. Before Raast, Pakistan’s payment infrastructure was PRISM…
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