Tech

Pakistan to establish international payment gateway

Aftab Ahmed
Islamabad: Pakistan plans establish its own international payment gateway pre-integrated with foreign gateway- Paypal, Visa card, Master Card and Alipay.

With regard to the progress on international payment gateway, it was informed during a meeting held on e-commerce policy to be announced on December 23, that NITB team is working on a suitable arrangement to engage a foreign payment provider company willing to establish Pakistan’s own international payment gateway. That payment gateway will be pre-integrated with Paypal, Visa card, Master Card and Alipay. The most important feature of that payment infrastructure will be security of the data generated by financial transactions carried out in Pakistan.

The Advisor to the Prime Minister on Commerce, Textile, Industry and Production & Investment chaired a meeting on Monday to discuss with key e-Commerce policy stakeholders from the public and the private sector regarding e-Commerce Policy implementation. The meeting focused on different problems that are being faced by the private sector engaged with e-Commerce. A great number of senior officers from 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 expressed that private sector can be rightly credited as the engine of growth in every economy and the present government is committed to facilitating this sector by removing all the bottlenecks being faced by it. He added that the aim of this policy is to generate more employment opportunities, empower youth and SMEs with focus on women entrepreneurs by connecting them to global e-Commerce platforms and ultimately enhancing the exports of the country.

Four main issues discussed during the meeting included; progress on establishment of international payment gateway in Pakistan, ease of doing business with reference to e-Commerce sector, taxation on e-Commerce and rescheduling of the date of the launch of e-Commerce Policy from 23rd December 2019 to the third week of January 2020.

With regard to the progress on international payment gateway, it was shared by the CEO NITB that his team is working on a suitable arrangement to engage a foreign payment provider company willing to establish Pakistan’s own international payment gateway. That payment gateway will be pre-integrated with Paypal, Visa card, Master Card and Alipay. The most important feature of that payment infrastructure will be security of the data generated by financial transactions carried out in Pakistan.

While highlighting the issues being faced by the e-Commerce sector, the private sector participants shared the importance of developing the whole echo system including 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 informed about its implementation status, several bench marks identified in the Policy have already been achieved. SBP further indicated willingness to find solutions for any other difficulties faced by the e-Commerce companies and free lancers.
The Secretary Commerce asked P@SHA to coordinate with the companies to list down all the issues with practical recommendations and share them with Ministry of Commerce till 1st January, 2020. Concrete solutions will be developed in consultation with SBP and FBR by third week of January at the launching ceremony of e-Commerce Policy

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