In a first, Pakistan to hire foreign payment provider to establish Pakistan’s own International payment gateway

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In a first, Pakistan to hire foreign payment provider to establish Pakistan’s own International payment gateway

ISLAMABAD - In a first, Pakistan to hire foreign payment provider to establish Pakistan’s own International payment gateway.

The government is working to engage a foreign payment provider to establish Pakistan’s own international payment gateway which will be pre-integrated with Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, and Alipay.

This was revealed during a meeting chaired by the Advisor to Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production & Investment discussing e-Commerce Policy implementation with key stakeholders from the public and the private sector.

The meeting focused on different problems that are being faced by the private sector in e-Commerce.

A large number of senior officers from the National Information Technology Board (NITB) Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) Habib Bank Limited (HBL) and leading e-Commerce Platforms from the private sector attended the meeting.

The Adviser said that the private sector can be rightly credited as the engine of growth in every economy and the government is committed to facilitating this sector by removing all bottlenecks.

He added that the aim of this policy is to generate more employment opportunities, empower youth and SMEs with a focus on female entrepreneurs by connecting them to global e-Commerce platforms and ultimately enhancing the exports of the country.

Four main issues discussed during the meeting include:

- Progress on the establishment of an international payment gateway in Pakistan. - Ease of doing business with reference to the e-Commerce sector. - Taxation on e-Commerce. - Rescheduling of the date of the launch of e-Commerce Policy from 23rd December 2019 to the third week of January 2020.

About the progress on the international payment gateway, CEO NITB said that his team is working on a suitable arrangement to engage a foreign company to establish Pakistan’s international payment gateway.

The payment gateway will be pre-integrated with Paypal, Visa, MasterCard, and Alipay. The most important feature of the payment infrastructure will be the security of the data generated by financial transactions carried out in Pakistan.

Highlighting the issues being faced by the e-commerce sector, the private sector participants shared the importance of developing the system including the facilitation of venture capital and foreign investment in e-commerce companies and startups.

Taxation was also discussed and participants were informed about the dialogue with Provincial Revenue Authorities to address double taxation. State Bank of Pakistan talked about its implementation status, saying that several benchmarks identified in the policy have already been achieved. SBP was also willing to find solutions for any other difficulties faced by e-Commerce companies and freelancers.

Secretary Commerce asked P@SHA to coordinate with the companies to list all the issues with practical recommendations and share them with the Ministry of Commerce by 1st January 2020. Concrete solutions will be developed in consultation with SBP and FBR by the third week of January at the launching ceremony of the new e-Commerce Policy.