Pakistan to replace national payment gateway with state-of-the-art Automated Transfer System

KARACHI: Government of Pakistan has planned to upgrade and replace the existing central bank operated national payment gateway and payment system i.e. Real Time Gross Settlement System (RTGS) with a state-of-the-art Automated Transfer System (ATS+), an official said.

“In recognition that the payments system is an integral part of the financial system in Pakistan, and is vital for its financial stability, monetary policy implementation and capital markets development, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is working to develop a modern and robust payment system as outlined in its Vision 2020”.

In order to achieve the strategic objective as outlined in its Vision 2020, the SBP intends to establish a fully integrated national payments processing system, which will provide foundation for the development of a range of innovative payment systems and services; accelerate the move towards adoption of digital payment instruments; reduce risks in the financial system in line with the Principles of Financial Market Infrastructure (PFMIs) and promote efficiency and convenience, and foster trust, in the national payment system for both individual and institutional users.

The SBP intends to hire the services of a reputable and experienced consultancy firm to provide consultancy for the state of art, fully integrated and interoperable National Payment Systems Platform, under the umbrella of World Bank’s Financial Inclusion Infrastructure Project (FIIP).

State Bank of Pakistan currently owns and operates Pakistan Real-time Interbank Settlement Mechanism (PRISM) system capable of performing real-time gross settlement for the participating institutions including banks/MFBs, development financial institutions, clearinghouses and payment systems operators etc.

PRISM Systems also offers the traditional RTGS systems features such as intraday liquidity facility, gridlock resolution and queuing for interbank payments as well as government securities settlement on delivery vs payment functionality.

SBP plans to upgrade national payment systems platform comprising Automated Transfer System (ATS+), covering appropriate architecture to support real time retail as well as wholesale payments as well as settlement and integration of the proposed platform with other payment systems operating in Pakistan.

The consultants would scan the existing payment systems infrastructure in Pakistan and provide recommendations for the improvement in the existing infrastructure; engage with the potential participants, operator and beneficiaries of the system to establish common understanding and align plan according to the objectives, goals and requirements of ATS+ system under National Payment Strategy (NPS).

The consultants would prepare an overall framework, design and architecture of ATS+ system infrastructure requirement; develop industry and enterprise architecture of the required ATS+ system on an internationally recognized standard and provide complete security architecture of the system.


Edited by Javed Mirza

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