State Bank Of Pakistan To Issue Central Bank Digital Currency By 2025

News, Regulation | April 4, 2019 By:

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the country’s central bank, is planning to issue its own digital currency by 2025.

SBP Deputy Governor Jameel Ahmad said that central bank was currently working on a concept of issuing digital currency to promote financial inclusion and reduce inefficiency and corruption. He added that the central bank is also planning to adopt evolving-realities of time and would be fully digitized and technology equipped by year 2030.

To extend emerging benefits of digitalization to the people, Finance Minister Asad Umar asked the central bank and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to ensure top-class cybersecurity in the banking system.

“As we move towards digital economy, it is absolutely important to ensure cybersecurity,” said Umar, adding that even a single high profile incident could cause irreparable loss of confidence to the economy and the banking system.

The news came after the SBP launched new regulations for electronic money institutions (EMI) earlier this week, which require EMIs to obtain the appropriate license from the central bank to issue e-money for the purpose of digital payments. These regulations will remove entry barriers and provide level playing field to EMIs in payment’s arena which will eventually lead to the development of payments ecosystem in Pakistan. SBP expects that the prospective EMIs shall offer convenient, cost effective, interoperable and secure digital payment products and services to end users in the country.

Umar said that the launch of regulations for EMIs would complement the government efforts in creating an enabling environment to empower stakeholders in trade and commerce, which will help businesses in improving their productivity and contributing towards positioning the nation for global competition.

“It is our government’s policy to encourage the use of e-commerce amongst public through awareness campaigns to promote a culture of e-commerce, which supports electronic business transactions at national, regional and international levels,” Umar said.

Ahmad said these landmark regulations are a testament of SBP’s commitment towards openness, adoption of technology and digitization of our financial system.

“The regulations had been finalised with full commitment and support of the stakeholders who provided extensive and valuable feedback by thoroughly reviewing the draft,” Ahmad said.