Eid ul Adha: How will digital payments mechanism work at cattle markets?

Eid ul Adha: How will digital payments mechanism work at cattle markets?

A man feeds cattles at the cattle market on the outskirts of Karachi on June 19, 2023. — AFP 

KARACHI: With the street crimes on the rise ahead of Eid ul Adha, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is all set to introduce QR code payment mechanism at cattle markets nationwide, a move that will help people and merchants to safely make payments.

The digital payment machanism is aimed at curbing cash transactions and promoting financial inclusion in a market estimated to be worth Rs550-600 billion during the festival.

The SBP is working with 25 banks to enable QR code payments at 50 major cattle markets nationwide, expanding the application of payments through Raast Instant Payment System, the central bank said in a statement.

“The initiative is being taken to help people and merchants to securely make payments, besides helping banks to potentially tap over Rs550-600 billion cattle purchases through digital banking in the annual religious festival.”

Ahmed Sumair, joint director of SBP’s Payment System Policy and Oversight Department, said the central bank is working with the banks 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 their,” he said at the 17th international conference titled ‘Mobile Commerce 2024’.

Sumair said 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.”

“Secondly, the project would help onboarding of cattle farmers and expand financial inclusion through Raast,” he added. The SBP official said the QR code payment method would revolutionise the payment experience, as 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, discoursing the use of cash in the economy. Merchants may display a QR code to receive online payment in a real-time and hassle-free manner.

It is important to mention that 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.

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