Last Updated on: 24th September 2023, 08:48 pm
Pakistan’s freelance and e-commerce industry is on the brink of a significant transformation as the government takes ambitious steps to welcome global digital payment giants Stripe, Wise, and PayPal into the country.
Caretaker Federal Minister for Information Technology and Telecom, Dr. Umar Saif, has made it his mission to remove barriers hindering freelancers and e-commerce companies from receiving payments seamlessly.
This move is poised to boost the country’s tech sector, provide easier access to international payments, and empower a new wave of digital entrepreneurs.
Bringing Global Giants to Pakistan
Dr. Umar Saif’s commitment to facilitating the freelancing and e-commerce sectors has gained considerable momentum. He has initiated discussions with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to expedite three crucial initiatives.
- Introducing PayPal, Stripe, and Wise: These digital payment systems will enable freelancers and e-commerce companies to receive international payments effortlessly. This is a game-changer for Pakistan’s burgeoning online businesses, opening up global markets and opportunities.
- Dollar Retention Accounts: To bolster IT companies, the government is considering the creation of dollar retention accounts and corporate debit cards. This will streamline dollar management for businesses, making it easier to retain and spend their earnings.
- Accelerating RAAST Merchant Payments (P2M): Dr. Saif envisions a digitized economy where anyone can make digital payments by scanning a QR code at a shop. This initiative will significantly contribute to the fintech revolution in Pakistan.
The Roadmap to Success
Dr. Umar Saif’s vision for Pakistan’s online freelancers includes:
- Welcoming PayPal and Stripe: By making these global giants accessible in Pakistan, the government aims to level the playing field and offer freelancers and e-commerce companies a reliable and secure payment infrastructure.
- Tax Rate Equality: Treating online freelancers at the same tax rate as the IT industry (0.25%) is a progressive step that encourages the growth of the digital economy.
- Co-Working Spaces: The government plans to create co-working spaces for up to 500,000 freelancers. This will foster collaboration, innovation, and skill development within the freelancing community.
- Economic Growth: Dr. Saif predicts that online freelancers could collectively earn up to $2.5 billion within the next two years, marking a significant boost to Pakistan’s economy.
Expected Launch Dates of PayPal, Stripe, and Wise Arrival in Pakistan
While the launch of PayPal, Wise, and Stripe in Pakistan is highly anticipated, the timeline depends on the country’s political situation.
The caretaker government’s tenure is initially set for 90 days, but with the possibility of extended proceedings related to delimitation, the launch could be pushed to early 2024.
However, these digital giants are on the horizon, ready to empower Pakistan’s digital entrepreneurs.