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ISLAMABAD: Telecom experts urged for a charter of technologically-driven economic transformation to foster the culture of entrepreneurship, digital governance and technocracy in the country in the broader national interest.

An international IT investor, tech entrepreneur and digitalization expert, Noman Said has stated that the introduction of globally-accepted payment gateways of PayPal and Stripe are going to revolutionise Pakistan’s tech ecosystem - and, the country is going to experience a major inward repatriationary flow and flux in international payments.

At least 1,200 IT companies based in Pakistan and upwards of 75,000 freelancers in IT and IT-enabled services would almost instantly shift to PayPal and Stripe; and, would be able to reach and charge customers at par with China and other regional, sub-regional and international competitors; which, previously were restrained by their ability to receive payments through international financial channels.

“The US IT industry is expecting to see the processing of upwards of $800 million in the first year of implementation alone as per my recent interactions with various IT conglomerates; trade bodies and universities across US. This would just be a beginning,” he added.

Noman Said called upon the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) to remain prepared for a major overhaul in their systems and swift implementation by commercial banks. The roadmap may include; (i) SBP should enforce across commercial banks attachment of PayPal accounts to Exporters Specialized Foreign Currency Accounts (ESCFAs); freelancers’ accounts and regular bank accounts as these gateways allow users to attach their accounts and route their funds to multiple accounts.

(ii) The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) should train its officers to understand that internationally-aligned payment services maintain complete money trail; yet, they are not accustomed to unnecessary queries and their statements are self-explanatory.

(iii) PSEB should streamline their process to register for the export of IT services. Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) need to be encouraged and enabled.

(iv) PayPal and Stripe payments should be given preferential treatment and incentives like remittances.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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