PayPal Could Soon Launch In Pakistan [REPORT]

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PayPal Could Soon Launch In Pakistan [REPORT]
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Pakistan’s Minister of State for Information Technology and Telecommunication said that e-commerce and e-payment facilities are an important force for economic development.

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On Monday Anusha Rahman, Minister of State of Information Technology and Telecom said that a gateway between e-commerce websites and financial institutions is vital for Pakistan and pledged the support of the IT ministry to the industry, according to APP.

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Government calls for cooperation to create strong e-commerce sector

“The IT ministry will continue supporting and facilitating e-commerce and e-payment gateway in Pakistan,” said Rahman during a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for establishing the e-payment gateway in Pakistan. “E-commerce being a major component of economic development is a vital element of national economic policies across the globe,” she continued.

It is up to the government to provide the conditions in which such a gateway can operate. “For successful establishment of an e-commerce gateway, a comprehensive e-commerce policy, comprising guidelines, rules and regulations along with dispute resolution and remedial mechanism for consumers, is a must.”

Rahman called on all stakeholders to work together in creating a functioning e-commerce environment in Pakistan. After the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Payment System Operators and Payment System Providers, Rahman believes that the Ministry of Commerce should work with international companies including PayPal and Alibaba.

Pakistan can now welcome PayPal, Amazon and others

Representatives of the SBP told Rahman that it had issues four licenses to major financial institutions allowing them to operate branchless banking services around the country. Other banks have also applied to handle domestic transactions outside of branches.

“Our export-based remittances as reported by the SBP are not representing actual figures,” said Rahman. She pushed the SBP to ensure that real figures were reflected.

Rahman announced that Pakistan now fulfills anti-money laundering and counter-terrorist financing requirements set by the Financial Action Task Force (FATF). The country was previously on the organization’s grey list, which prevented international tech companies from doing business in Pakistan.

Now that Pakistan is considered safe to do business, international tech giants such as PayPal, Amazon and eBay will be invited to start operations in Pakistan. The initiative is part of government efforts to ensure that information technology is used to drive economic growth and benefit the Pakistani population.

Encouraging trends for future of digital business in Pakistan

Of course the rise of digital commerce in Pakistan depends heavily on rates of internet access, as well as collaboration among mobile operators, e-payments companies and government departments. Telecoms companies have recently been investing heavily in infrastructure which means that by 2020 3G internet will be accessible to 90% of the population, and mobile broadband will reach 40%.

As it stands nearly 50% of Pakistani adults have access to a cellphone but do not have a bank account. This increases the importance of mobile money, or the aforementioned branchless banking, in the country.

While e-commerce looks set to grow in Pakistan there is great potential for government payments to be digitized. However in order for this to happen the costs of delivery and rate of use of branchless banking need to improve.

The GSMA recommends that fintech companies should partner with branchless banking operators to create products which target different sections of the population. With greater cooperation there is a huge potential for growth in the industry in the country.

E-commerce potential waiting to be tapped

On the commercial side there has recently been a huge boom in online shopping, despite the fact that Pakistan lags behind neighbors China and India. According to the data, spending in Pakistan’s e-commerce market will reach $600 million by 2017.

There are plenty of new online ventures being founded, and those which already exist are growing rapidly. However for the market to reach its full potential there remains a lot of work to be done.

With increased rates of internet access comes greater exposure to social media such as Twitter and Facebook, which impact marketing trends and how opinions are formed. Life in Pakistan will become increasingly digital, especially given the trends in smartphone use.

While 73.2% of Pakistanis have a cellphone, there are now an estimated 9 million that now use smartphones. Internet usage increases with smartphone ownership, making online business far more accessible.

The growth of digital business in Pakistan has been made possible by the improvement of many different factors, with the security situation being one of the most important. By demonstrating to the FATF that the country is no longer a haven for money launderers and terrorist fundraisers, the Pakistani government has allowed for a new period of growth.

Online payments have the potential to drive economic growth for a new generation of entrepreneurs, and it is an exciting time for Pakistan.

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While studying economics, Brendan found himself comfortably falling down the rabbit hole of restaurant work, ultimately opening a consulting business and working as a private wine buyer. On a whim, he moved to China, and in his first week following a triumphant pub quiz victory, he found himself bleeding on the floor based on his arrogance. The same man who put him there offered him a job lecturing for the University of Wales in various sister universities throughout the Middle Kingdom. While primarily lecturing in descriptive and comparative statistics, Brendan simultaneously earned an Msc in Banking and International Finance from the University of Wales-Bangor. He's presently doing something he hates, respecting French people. Well, two, his wife and her mother in the lovely town of Antigua, Guatemala. <i>To contact Brendan or give him an exclusive, please contact him at theflask@gmail.com</i>
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3 COMMENTS

  1. 16 dec reply

    Thank you for your email and your interest in PayPal.

    At
    this time, we have no specific plans for Pakistan, as we are currently
    looking at expanding the services in existing countries where we are
    available, before we add new countries.

    Thank you.

    Kind regards,

    The PayPal MENA Team

  2. An adult lands in the city of Karachi. He seems to have means to entertain his friends in an upscale restaurant. A kind of restaurant catering to those people with enough money to dole out for a good evening. The restaurant is a macro version of a western style restaurant where the individual could pig out for a set price. At the end of the stampede, a bill would come in a tray. All this is very familiar to those who had been to the American or European restaurants. After quite a deliberation, the waiter would show up with a grim face and ask for other card. Why? ‘Sir, the card is not working.’ Alright, the other card is given. The waiter is back in business. He has done it before and will do it till the day of judgement. All the time, the customer is holding his breath. He is not really praying to get the card pass through. He is cursing at the thuggish polity of Pakistan with nuclear bombs in disposal which has yet to learn how to run a credit system. The waiter comes back and request if the customer may wish to pay in cash. How the hell a customer is expected to carry the equivalent of $300.00 in pocket? Carrying cash? More than fifty years have been passed and the digital revolution has long been gone and the entire world is waiting for Pakistan to join the digital world. No more Chinese torture in Pakistan, please.

  3. I have visited Pakistan on several occasions as I was born there and left when I was young. Whenever I go back for a visit, I notice how busy the Market places always are, always packed with shoppers, late till midnight when shops are still open. Businesses are highly profitable, eateries, gas stations, retail, clothing, car dealership, everything sells fast in Pakistan. It has a population of 200 million people and 66% of the population is below age of 40. So its a very youthful country. A lot of activities a lot of business but most of the world does not know about it, and that is what makes it more profitable.

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