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HomeTechPayPal and Stripe Payment Gateways to Launch in Pakistan in few weeks

PayPal and Stripe Payment Gateways to Launch in Pakistan in few weeks

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Exciting news for Pakistan’s freelancing community as the Caretaker Federal Minister for IT and Telecommunications, Dr. Umar Saif, announced that PayPal and Stripe payment gateways will soon be available in the country.

Dr. Saif conveyed his optimism during a media briefing, emphasizing the significant impact these services will have on Pakistan’s growing freelancing sector.

Empowering Freelancers:

Recognizing the challenges posed by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) requirements in integrating PayPal and Stripe, Dr. Saif remained hopeful about the progress being made. He confidently stated, “I am optimistic that we will receive positive news regarding PayPal and Stripe within the next four to six weeks, ensuring that our freelancers have access to these services.”

Pakistan is home to a substantial IT freelancing workforce, with approximately 1.5 million Pakistanis actively engaged in this sector, ranking the country as the world’s second-largest online workforce.

Dr. Saif stressed the importance of a robust infrastructure to drive the growth of the IT sector. He introduced the E-Rozgar program, designed to provide interest-free loans to the private sector and establish co-working spaces for up to 500,000 individuals.

Liberalizing Forex Reserves for IT Companies:

One significant challenge faced by IT companies in Pakistan has been restrictions on repatriating foreign currency earnings. Dr. Saif highlighted that many IT firms kept their forex reserves and revenues abroad. However, recent initiatives by the IT ministry and the Pakistan Software Houses Association (P@SHA) have allowed companies to retain 50% of their revenue in US dollar accounts. These companies will also receive corporate debit cards to facilitate international transactions.

The State Bank of Pakistan has recently increased the allowable retention limit for IT exporters from 35% to 50% of their export proceeds in the Exporters’ Specialized Foreign Currency Accounts (ESFCAs).

Furthermore, the process for using these retained funds has been simplified, enabling IT exporters to make payments from these accounts without requiring approval from the SBP or banks. These measures are expected to encourage IT exporters to bring more foreign exchange into Pakistan.

Advancements in Technology and Cybersecurity:

Dr. Saif also revealed that the auction of 5G spectrum has commenced, promising improved connectivity and mobile services for the nation. In collaboration with the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA), the government is introducing a cell phone financing scheme, allowing individuals to purchase high-end phones in installments, potentially establishing a thriving high-end phone market in the country.

Finally, the minister emphasized the government’s unwavering commitment to enhancing cybersecurity and safeguarding against online data theft. Plans are underway to establish a cybersecurity authority within the next few months.

These developments herald a promising future for Pakistan’s IT sector, offering new opportunities for freelancers and businesses alike.

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