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Saturday Apr 10 2021
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SBP considering issuing digital currency to boost financial inclusion

  • SBP Governor Raza Baqir says that the central bank is currently studying a proposal for a digital currency. 
  • SBP says digital currency will boost financial inclusion and help fight money laundering.
  • Baqir says Pakistan is a great potential market for fintechs as most of the population is tech-savvy.


KARACHI: The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is considering issuing digital currency to boost financial inclusion and reduce money laundering in the economy, the central bank’s governor was quoted as saying by The News.

"We are studying that very carefully. We think that some countries like China are already showing the way,” SBP Governor Reza Baqir told CNN in an interview.

Baqir said that the introduction of an SBP digital currency will have a two-fold benefit.

“Not only does it give a boost to our efforts for financial inclusion but second, because it is a central bank-issued digital currency, it allows us to make further progress in our fight towards anti-money laundering and towards countering terrorism financing,” he said

“So we are at a stage where we are studying it.”

Read more: SBP issues warning against cryptocurrency transactions

Baqir said that the government will announce further development on digital currency in the coming months.

“For now we have allowed a framework for digital banks to begin operation in Pakistan.”

To a question regarding the entry of major global fintech, including Stripe’s entry into the Pakistani market, Baqir said fintechs like Stripe and other such big international payment providers are “very welcome” in Pakistan.

Read more: SHC restrains FIA from harassing Bitcoin, other cryptocurrency dealers in Pakistan

“Pakistan is a great potential market for all such companies as most of the population is tech-savvy and there is a budding youth potential in the technology sector of the economy,” he said.

“We are very open and we embrace any global mobile payment operator that wants to come to Pakistan,” Baqir told CNN.