PayPal has responded to reports that it might launch services in Pakistan. A PayPal spokesperson told ValueWalk in an email: “As a global payments company, PayPal is constantly innovating and looking for new ways to meet the needs of our customers around the world. As we look at expanding our global footprint, we see Pakistan as a market with great opportunity, but we are not able to comment on future plans.”
Pakistani officials pave the way for PayPal
This week Pakistan’s Minister of IT and Telecommunication, Anusha Rehman, said they have now made steps to enable PayPal to move into the country. She noted that e-commerce has become extremely important all around the world and that it has been up to the government to make conditions in Pakistan favorable for e-commerce companies to operate in.
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She said that after setting up a gateway between Pakistan’s major financial institutions and major e-commerce websites, they should start working with PayPal, Alibaba and other international companies. Thus far, officials have issued four licenses to big banks in Pakistan which allow them to run banking services without having bank branches. Also the State Bank of Pakistan is working to set up a digital payments gateway in the country.
Pakistan fights money laundering, terrorism
Another major step taken by Pakistan to bring PayPal and other international e-commerce and related firms into the nation is the move onto the white list of the Financial Action Task Force. The organization fights money laundering and had previously listed Pakistan on its grey list, which meant that it did not recommend that international technology companies set up operations there.
The Financial Action Task Force has set internationally accepted anti-money laundering and counterterrorism standards for countries. This basically means that the countries which are on the task force’s white list have put in place standard protocols to battle money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities.
Amazon, eBay may also enter Pakistan
Now that Pakistani officials have taken these steps, they intend to invite PayPal and other major international technology companies into the country. Former PayPal parent company eBay, U.S.-based online retailer Amazon, and Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba are said to be on their target list for firms they want to bring into Pakistan. Alibaba also operates its own digital payments arm, AliPay, which competes with PayPal.
Pakistan is more and more becoming a prime target for international companies. Uber revealed last month that it plans to set up operations in Pakistan as well.