Govt kicks off project to promote international digital payment

September 25, 2020

ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday kicked off a project to collaborate between the country’s largest transactional clearing facilitator and a cross-border payment service provider to...

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ISLAMABAD: The government on Thursday kicked off a project to collaborate between the country’s largest transactional clearing facilitator and a cross-border payment service provider to promote international digital payments.

The decision was taken during a third meeting of National Ecommerce Council at the ministry of commerce. National Ecommerce Council is a body of representatives from public and private sector and it was constituted in line with the directions of National Ecommerce Policy of Pakistan approved by the cabinet in October last year.

“One of the most important happening of the meeting included the project kickoff between NIFT (National Institutional Facilitation Technologies) and Checkout.com for bringing international payment methods to Pakistan,” said a statement. “The implementation will enable both organisations to provide payment services through each other’s infrastructure and pursue commercial opportunities as a partnership. This strives towards a borderless experience for business and consumers alike, promoting digital payments and settlements for exports and digital commerce across Pakistan.”

Checkout.com is a global payment provider which offers reliable payments in more than 150 different currencies, in-country acquiring, robust fraud filters and reporting - all accessed through a single point of integration. They accept payments from all major international card schemes. This also brings a unified offering of all the prominent international payment methods, including PayPal.

The main objective of the council is to develop effective collaboration with all relevant sectors for effective implementation of the Ecommerce Policy.

A memorandum of understating was signed between Pakistan Pakistan Software Houses Association and Chain Store Association of Pakistan for working together to promote the use of indigenous technology and connectivity of the small and medium enterprises for promoting ecommerce.

The agenda items pertaining to Federal Board of Revenue included update on cross border ecommerce procedure (integration of ecommerce exports with tax online system), and progress on formulation of return policy for ecommerce exports. The Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan briefed the meeting about the facilitative registration mechanism introduced for ecommerce sector.

The private sector sub-committee formulated on financial inclusion and digitisation through payment infrastructure during second NeCC shared its progress over digital transformation in payments. The subcommittee was formed with the aim to identify and explore opportunities to promote ecommerce through gradual shift towards digital payments.

Terms of reference for the consultative group on women economic empowerment (WEE) – approved during the 2nd meeting of National Ecommerce Council – were also shared for approval of the council. The role of WEE would be the representation of the economic interests of women, provision of policy inputs to the NeCC to promote gender mainstreaming through national ecommerce policy and other trade related policies.

Pakistan Post briefed the participants about the latest development made for integration of Pak Post with the national single window, digital transformation of the national postal service with increased transparency through tracking and traceability of shipments and a new planned initiative of collect and return services for the exchange and return of articles through postal counters.

An update was also shared from tax authorities on harmonisation of taxation regime through national tax council and taxation facilitation introduced for private sector with the intention to promote ecommerce. The meeting was updated about the revised draft of personal data protection bill, which will be available for public comments with a month or two.



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