Is PayPal Coming to Pakistan? What Will be the Payment Process?

News Desk3 months ago
Is PayPal Coming to Pakistan? What Will be the Payment Process?

In a groundbreaking announcement at the Tech Destination Pakistan event, the Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecommunication, Dr. Umar Saif, shared a pivotal development for Pakistan’s freelance community.

A pilot project, set to kick off in February, will facilitate payments through PayPal for 10,000 freelancers, marking a significant stride towards financial inclusivity.

Payment Process and Benefits

Dr. Saif clarified that while PayPal is not directly establishing a presence in Pakistan, an innovative mechanism has been devised.

Freelancers, without the need for a PayPal account, will receive payments from international clients through a third-party intermediary. Funds will be seamlessly deposited into freelancers’ accounts, simplifying the payment process.

To qualify, freelancers need only provide evidence of active accounts on platforms like Fiverr, Upwork, Elance, Toptal, or Crossover. Furthermore, a 50 percent dollar retention policy has been introduced, allowing freelancers to retain half of their earnings in dollars and receive a debit card for both domestic and international transactions.

Points to keep in mind

Misinformation

Claims of PayPal’s direct or indirect entry into Pakistan are inaccurate.

Partnership Explained

Payoneer, an existing payment service, is partnering with PayPal to offer it as a payment option for Payoneer users globally, not just in Pakistan.

No Local Access

This partnership does not allow Pakistanis to create PayPal accounts directly or through Payoneer.

Minister’s Statement

The IT Minister’s claim about PayPal’s entry could negatively impact efforts to bring the service to Pakistan in the future.

Freelancer Needs

Pakistan has a high demand for PayPal due to its large freelancer population, but regulatory hurdles make entry difficult.

Also Read: Why the Global Payment Giant PayPal Not Providing Services to Pakistan?

Expansion and Road Ahead

The pilot project’s initiation in February is a prelude to its expansion in March, ensuring a wider reach for freelancers across Pakistan. Dr. Saif envisions a future where freelancers nationwide can seamlessly access payments from both PayPal and Stripe.

In parallel, the government has allocated substantial funds for E-Rozgaar centers nationwide, embodying a public-private partnership. These centers aim to provide interest-free loans, fostering an environment conducive to freelancing and entrepreneurship. With plans to establish over 250 centers, 40 are currently in progress and expected to be operational by February 19, 2024.

Additionally, the government is spearheading initiatives to bolster the IT workforce. The first standardized quality test for 75,000 IT graduates is scheduled for January 15, paving the way for job opportunities through the Industry Placement Program.

A focus on international certification training for 16,000 individuals in technologies such as Salesforce, Cisco, Microsoft, and Oracle financials further underscores the commitment to meet industry demands for highly skilled professionals.

The government’s holistic approach, including Specialized IT Zones, has already yielded a 13 percent increase in IT revenue within the past month. Federal IT Secretary Hassan Nasir Jami lauded these initiatives, encouraging entrepreneurs, students, and developers to capitalize on the burgeoning opportunities in Pakistan’s expanding IT ecosystem.

As Pakistan’s freelancers embark on this transformative journey, the government’s commitment to fostering growth, creating opportunities, and simplifying financial transactions is poised to reshape the landscape of the freelance industry.

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