The central bank and the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Friday to facilitate cross-border remittances between the Arab region and Pakistan.
“The MoU is signed to establish a framework of cooperation between Buna, the cross-border payment system operated by Arab Regional Payments Clearing and Settlement Organization ‘ARPCSO’, owned by AMF, and Raast, Pakistan’s Instant Payment System,” said a press release issued by the State Bank of Pakistan.
The agreement was signed by the AMF Director General Chairman of Board Dr Abdulrahman Bin Abdullah Al Hamidy and SBP Governor Jameel Ahmad in Abu Dhabi.
It added that the initiative would benefit individuals as well as businesses not only through safe cross border payments, but also by strengthening economic ties between the Arab countries and Pakistan.
“This strategic collaboration with Raast underscores Buna’s commitment to continue connecting different regions together and reinforcing economic, financial, and investment ties between the Arab region and its main global partners,” the AMF director general board of chairman.
The development resonated with the shared vision of innovating cross-border payment solutions to offer efficient cross-border instant payments access for individuals and corporate, he added
“We also aim to increase cross-border remittances by reducing costs and processing times, this initiative confirms the global character of Buna which adheres to the highest compliance standards to connect the Arab region with its main global partners in line with the vision of its founders, their excellencies in the Council of Central Bank Governors,” Al Hamidy said.
He thanked the SBP governor and his colleagues for their support to the initiative.
The SBP governor described the MoU as a “significant strategic achievement” that would open the door to closer connection between the two sides. The collaboration between SBP and AMF was in line with the vision to leverage cross border integrations to complement the objective of building an innovative Digital Financial Services ecosystem, he added:
“The integration of the two payment systems will increase remittances to Pakistan through formal channels, with enhanced speed, safety, and savings in these cross-border transactions. With over 5 million Pakistanis residing in the Arab region and around 55 per cent of Pakistan’s total remittances received from Arab countries, SBP is committed to complete the necessary work and operationalize the connectivity between Raast and Buna in the shortest possible time,” Ahmed said.