1/ Still lots of questions about #RaastBySBP and how it's different from current online transfer mechanisms. People keep insisting it's the same as current digital payment switches, but it's NOT in a huge way! Read on and share so there is clarity...
2/ #RaastbySBP is not an app or a consumer product of any sort. It is the backend infrastructure or plumbing that is connected to EVERYONE (Banks, Fintechs, EMIs, etc) that allows for service providers to build consumer or business service on top of it.
3/ @StateBank_Pak in collaboration w @KarandaazPK is implementing the first few of those services (called use cases) by using RAAST platform to connect government departments to individuals it needs to make payments to. Bulk CDC payments of dividends to shareholders is the first.
4/ Bulk BISP payments to women will follow and then more use cases will be built by private sector to enable P2P payments, Business to Consumer payments and Consumer to Business payments. That capability built into Raast will enable what was previously not possible.
5/ Let me explain by example. Raast allows payments like the following:
From: Khurram@UBL
To: Fee@Aitchison
Amount: Rs 40,000
Roll Number: 12345
Bill Number: 67890
Date/Time: Monday, 14 Jan, 2021

I am just dumbing it down, the actual APIs will be different & allow more context.
6/ Here are the features of Raast based on that example. First, RAAST transactions allow you to attach context with the txn based on ISO 20022 standard for cross-bank account payments. In example, roll number and bill number so receiver can identify what the payment is for.
7/ Up until now, when ever you make a payment from 1 acnt to another, it only allowed the amount and from bank account causing reconcilation issues. I'd make the payment & then call the school & tell them I just made payment from this account of this amount to them to recognize.
8/ If two people sent the payment at the same time of the same amount, u would invariably have to spend a lot of time convincing the human on the other end which payment was urs. Raast allows programmatic parsing of contextual information from payments for auto reconciliation.
9/ The contextual information can be anything service providers attach to the txn & allows for some amazing use cases & apps to be built upon it. It's the most powerful feature of Raast which up until now was only available if both sender/receiver accounts were w same provider.
10/ Second, Raast will allows access to it's infrastructure and messaging standard through open APIs that eligible service providers can use to very easily integrate with the Raast backbone and have access to everyone integrated with Raast including Government depts.
11/ Third, Raast will have a universal directory service sort of like the DNS registry where account holders can assign aliases to their accounts. So instead of providing bank name & variable length acnt numbers with chances of errors, you just create an alias like kz@ubl
12/ This is a huge user experience upgrade. How many times have u gone back & forth trying to get & enter an Acnt# frm some1 to pay them. Now they just tell u to send a payment to pay@daraz like an email address. Easy to remember & allows for branding like website names.
13/ The primary objective of Raast is broader financial inclusion. The directory feature allows unsophisticated users to be able to send payments easily if service providers leverage the context and directory features right in their apps.
14/ Fourth, again in order to promote broad financial inclusion, Raast will have extremely low fees that will enable sending micro payments to one another. Right now u can send a free payment from 1 EasyPaisa Acnt to another. But try sending the payment frm EasyPaisa to Jazzcash!
15/ Other switches in the country had been extorting huge fees for interbank transfers for just moving dumb bits around their pipes. Without SBP intervention, you'd still be paying big fees when taking money out of the MCB atm when your account is with HBL. That ends w Raast!
16/ Think of it as govt laying roads network & NOT charging any tolls for moving frm 1 city to another. It is up to u now to build prods/markets, build trucks & move goods freely between cities & promoting commerce. With Raast (the digital roads) r free of toll. Time 2 innovate!
17/ Fifth, the current systems do not allow for real time settlement. You may receive payments instantly but the settlement between send/receiving banks happen after a day. Which is why when your payment goes missing it takes a while to revert or fix the issue.
18/ Raast will allow realtime settlement but depending on usage initially, the banks may decide to do it 3-4 times a day.
Sixth, Raast is built on a massively scalable architecture with a massive txn throughput capability to cater to expected increase in txn volume.
19/ Seventh, Raast is not controlled by SBP or Karandaaz or Gates Foundation. It will have a truly democratic governance model w representation of participants from all stakeholders unlike current switches controlled by a few large banks.
20/ Eighth, w the launch of Raast & very low fees, innovation will now focus on building use cases on top of it specially the ones that benefit the masses that can't pay exorbitant fees or were previously forced to open a new account with every service provider w a good product.
21/ I can go on and on about other features like security, technical architecture, reliability, etc but this should suffice to understand the differentiation that Raast offers compared to exiting offerings.
22/ A lot of the times when people are comparing features of Raast with other options, they are comparing apples to oranges. For example, the UX experience or contextual txns that are offered by EasyPaisa ONLY work if both sender & receiver accounts are w EasyPaisa.
23/ Raast's true power lies in enabling the same products and services to be developed without mandating the users of those services to have an account in the same bank or with the same mobile service provider.
24/ Think of RAAST as the internet backbone equivalent of digital payments. It's up to you now to build the Facebook, Amazon, Netflix and Google equivalent of digital payments on top of it!

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More from @kayzafar

30 Dec 20
1/ This is tragic! We could possibly lose billions just because as a nation we don't bother with fact-finding before denouncing things that could possibly benefit the country. Irresponsible reporting & poor reaction by the cabinet. Read thread for facts...
2/ Years ago, GoP received a grant frm DFID under the Financial Inclusion Program to fund a credit guarantee facility. Grants r issued for a specific purpose. The terms were that if any funds remain unutilized, they'll be returned to DFID or one of its development programs in Pak
3/ Just so happened, that with this program, most of the funds remained unutilized & would need to be returned to DFID in Mar 2021 upon program expiry. Instead, DFID agreed to capitalize Pakistan Credit Guarantee Company (PCGC) to further its original FIP development objectives.
Read 11 tweets
9 Jul 20
1/ "Should I persevere & stay the course or pivot?" Inevitably, most #startup entrepreneurs will face this challenging decision, more so in turbulent times like now. Is there a decision making framework that can guide founders? Here r my $0.02. Would love to hear ur thoughts too.
2/ First, if u r considering a 3rd option to quit when faced w this decision, then choose to quit. Don't feel bad. U likely learnt a lot more than ur frnds who opted for a steady job. Use break to reflect, acquire more skills, build bigger network, find a big prob & attempt again
3/ By quitting now, you will save a bigger heart burn later, save your time and your investor's capital.

With that out of the way, the remaining 2 options, when faced, are very often tough to decide upon for passionate, committed entrepreneurs who don't like to quit.
Read 19 tweets
30 Jun 20
1/ Petrified to read the stmts coming out from courageous girls about incidents of sexual harassment & abuse at elite schools like LGS 1A1. My own daughters go there. Probably yours too. We must stand up united against this, along with our girls, and fight. Here are some thoughts
2/ First, read these posts by courageous girls who have mustered the confidence & strength to expose these powerful institutions & rampant abuse perpetuated & tolerated by school teachers & administration


3/ Some of the staff & teachers have been fired establishing therefore that the incidents r true. But it shouldn't end here. The mgmt should be held accountable because these are not isolated incidents. It is deep rooted, pervasive & systemic indifference by mgmt that caused this
Read 17 tweets
31 May 20
Dear @investinpak, our fund, @47_ventures, has invested millions of dollars in local #startups. Yet, the capital for our latest investment is being held hostage by @MeezanBankLtd for 12 days. Can you help? Details follow... @StateBank_Pak @DRezaBaqir @taidrus @DigitalPak_GoP 1/n
The ordeal started nearly 2 months ago when we decided to re-up our investment in a promising, fast growing health tech startup. While we worked on deal docs, we arranged for a bridge loan (interest-free) for the startup to ensure it kept the operations growing. 2/n
The capital was received by Meezan Bank, Khayanban-e-Jinnah branch Lhr in start of April. Various documents about the loan were requested which were provided swiftly to the branch. After a month, the bank said that the money came from a source that is not an "eligible lender" 3/n
Read 13 tweets
22 May 19
1. Just saw a tweet by @UdarOfficial announcing Rs 100B Kamyab Jawan program. Awesome! Program design will determine success & I am glad 8 mths of prep went into it. So looking fwd to more details. Here's how I'll design it given 10 mins of prep time...
2. I will target an inflation adjusted flat return on the fund, 400-500K direct & indirect livelihoods, and at least Rs 1 trillion of economic activity to be generated from this program. There will be 5 funding windows in the program.
3. These Windows will be:
1: 5B for youth training, admin & support
2: 40B for micro bizs for youth in bottom of pyramid
3: 40B for small bizs for educated urban youth
4: 10B for startup bizs for high growth ventures
5: 5B for follow-on funding for exceptional performers
Read 20 tweets
22 May 19
1. After my last thread detailing why it's painful to invest in Pakistan, a couple people, including @aatif_awan & @Sahmed06, opined that Pakistan still benefits even if foreign holding structures are used. I had promised a response which required a new thread. Here it goes...
2. When an investor chooses to invest in Pak thru a foreign holding Co, the investment still has to come INTO Pak, so now the holding Co, instead of the investor, faces all the issues I alluded to. So without a biz friendly, secure, easy forex i/o env, the challenge remains.
3. Alternatively, investors structure hold Co to drip fund Pak Co opex while moving all intangible assets (most valuable for IT companies) into ownership of hold Co. Value accrues in hold Co, & Pak Co remain a back office service provider that's never even profitable.
Read 15 tweets

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