SBP allows transfer of up to $200,000 as payment for foreign digital services

KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed banks to release a maximum amount of $200,000 per year as payment for digital services provided by foreign companies.

The central bank on Thursday issued a new mechanism for payments to globally recognized digital service provider companies against acquisition of digital services by local companies for ease of doing business in the country.

The SBP amended Foreign Exchange Manual and allowed general permission to banks to release foreign exchange up to a maximum of USD 200,000/-, or equivalent in other currencies, per year, for each company/ firm/ sole proprietorship incorporated/ established in Pakistan on account of commercial payments, pertaining to digital services, in favor of digital service provider companies.

The release of payment is limited to foreign companies listed by the SBP, which are included:

1.  Adobe

2.  Affinity

3.  Airtable

4.  Alibaba Group

5.  Amazon

6.  Apple

7.  AppLovin

8.  Asana

9.  Atlassian

10.  Box

11.  Calendly

12.  Coursera

13. Digital Ocean

14. DocSend

15. DocuSign

16. Dropbox

17. Expensify

18. Facebook

19. Figma

20. FreshBooks

21. Front

22. GoDaddy

23. Google

24. Hootsuite

25. Hubspot

26. IBM

27. Instagram

28. Intercom

29. InVision

30. LinkedIn Corporation

31. Mailchimp

32. Marketo

33. Mendix

34. Microsoft Corporation

35. Optimizely

36. Oracle Corporation

37. Pilot

38. Pipe Drive

39. Poynt

40. Intuit/ QuickBooks

41. Red Hat/ OpenShift

42. Sketch

43. Salesforce

44. SAP SE / SAP

45. SEMrush

46. Shopify

47. Slack Technologies/Slack

48. Squarespace

49. Tencent

50. Trello

51. Twilio

52. Twitter

53. Udacity

54. Udemy

55. VMware

56. WhatsApp

57. WordPress

58. Xero

59. YouTube

60. Zapier

61. Zendesk

62. Zoom/ Video Communications

The SBP said that the ultimate beneficiary of remittances should only be the company (including their affiliates or associated entities).

However, up to a maximum amount of USD 25,000/-, out of the total annual limit of USD 200,000/-, can be remitted to those digital service provider companies which are not listed in the Appendix V 147, against acquisition of digital services.

The remittances should only be made by an Authorized Dealer designated by the remitter for this purpose under acknowledgement to Foreign Exchange Operations Department (FEOD) SBP-BSC. No Authorized dealer will remit funds under this general permission unless it has been acknowledged as designated Authorized Dealer by the FEOD SBP-BSC.

The SBP said that the banks will ensure that it has satisfied itself with the genuineness and bonafides of the applicant, through appropriate CDD and customer risk profiling, specifically in light of AML/CFT regulations.

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