State Bank promises issuance of digital currency by 2025

Written by Faisal Saeed ·  1 min read >
State Bank of Pakistan

The State Bank of Pakistan has promised the issuance of digital currency by 2025. The Finance Minister Asad Umar on this matter asked the central bank and the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to ensure top of the line cyber-security in the banking system so that they can extend the benefits of the digital currency to the people of Pakistan.

Asad Umar during the launching ceremony of regulations of Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs) said, “As we move towards a digital economy, it is absolutely important to ensure cyber-security”. He added that even a single high profile incident could cause a massive loss of trust in the economy and the banking system.

The government has announced new EMIs regulations for digital currencies, under which the non-bank entities will be given licenses by the central bank to issue e-money for the purpose of digital payments.

A couple of weeks ago the news about the legalization of cryptocurrency in Pakistan started circling over local media outlets, where Business Recorder claimed that an intelligence agency had given an all-clear signal to the finance minister to legalize. However, a representative of Asad Umar’s social media team told TechJuice that the finance minister has denied any such claims and called them totally fake.

However, now it appears that those speculations could actually be true, as the State Bank’s Deputy Governor Jameel Ahmad said that the central bank is working on a concept through which the bank will start issuing digital currency by the year 2025. This step will help promote financial inclusion in the country and reduce corruption and inefficiency. Moreover, the central bank will keep on updating their systems according to the new evolving technologies that will keep the system fully digitized and technologically updated by the year 2030.

The Finance Minister said that he had been telling the prime minister that digitalization would be a revolutionary step to boost the economy in the country and that he was happy by the major efforts of the central bank in this direction. He also said, “This would resolve different core issues, promote transparency and reduce dependence on human resources”. Because with the expansion of the system to the digital currency it would be impossible for people to remain outside.

He further stated, “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”.

Jameel Ahmad about the launch of EMIs said, “These landmark regulations are a testament of SBP’s commitment towards openness, adoption of technology and digitization of our financial system”.

The Deputy Governor SBP also said that the central bank has issued the regulations for branch-less banking a long time ago. The regulations enable the entry of telecommunication companies into the circle of banking and payments.

He stated, “Over the past few years, branch-less banking providers have evolved well and are now offering financial services to a large segment of our population”. Jameel Ahmad also explained the objectives of regulations, licensing procedure, governance arrangement, capital requirement, funds safeguarding arrangements, customer due diligence, and interoperability.