PayPal flexing muscles to launch services network in Pakistan

STAFF REPORT ISB: PayPal is flexing its muscles to come in to Pakistan with its future plans as well as offer services to its customers to connect them with its worldwide network of operations.

“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,” said a PayPal spokesperson in his recent email sent to ValueWalk.

According to reports, the PayPal is weighing options to enter Pakistan after the government of Pakistan waved strong signals to fight against anti-money laundering activities and regulate financial interactions at levels.

This would pave the way for bringing PayPal and other international e-commerce and related firms into the nation as after the country would move onto the white list of the Financial Action Task Force.

PayPal is a global payments platform that is available to people in 203 markets across the world allowing customers to get paid in more than 100 currencies, withdraw funds to their bank accounts in 57 currencies and hold balances in their PayPal accounts in 26 currencies. Founded in 1998, the PayPal continued to be at the forefront of the digital payments revolution. Last year it processed 4 billion dollars payments, of which 1 billion dollars were made on mobile devices. The company gives people better ways to connect to their money and to each other, helping them safely access and move their money and is offering a choice of how they would like to pay or be paid. With the 173 million active customer accounts, PayPal has created an open and secure payments ecosystem that people and businesses choose to securely transact with each other online, in stores and on mobile devices.

Most recently, the parliament in Pakistan has made an anti-money laundering law to crush those involved in illegal transactions of money with the aim to ensure that this money is not used for terrorism-related activities in the country.

Minister of IT and Telecommunication, Anusha Rehman, has recently 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.

She said that after setting up a gateway between Pakistans major financial institutions and major e-commerce websites, they should start working with PayPal, Alibaba and other international companies.

The Financial Action Task Force 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 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 Forces white list have put in place standard protocols to battle money laundering and the financing of terrorist activities.

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, US-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.

“The IT ministry will continue supporting and facilitating e-commerce and e-payment gateway in Pakistan,” the IT minister while recently chairing a meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Committee for establishing the e-payment gateway in Pakistan.

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