UNISAME Calls for Bringing PayPal and Stripe to Pakistan

UNISAME Calls for Bringing PayPal and Stripe to Pakistan

Karachi, May 23, 2024 – The Union of Small and Medium Enterprises (UNISAME) has urged the Pakistani government to expedite the introduction of PayPal and Stripe in the country to address the payment issues faced by start-ups and freelancers.

During a meeting with Federal Minister for Industries and Production Rana Tanveer Hussain, UNISAME’s IT Convener Salman Merchant highlighted the urgent need for these global payment gateways. “There is an immediate need for PayPal and Stripe in Pakistan, and the government must take the initiative to bring them here as quickly as possible,” Merchant stated while presenting proposals for the 2024-25 budget.

Merchant stressed the importance of establishing a robust infrastructure and standard operating procedures (SOPs) recognized by the government and relevant state authorities to earn the trust of these payment gateways. He also emphasized the necessity of educating businesses about return policies and privacy policies to foster a trustworthy e-commerce environment.

“A better e-commerce infrastructure is required to gain consumer trust,” Merchant noted. He also called for mechanisms to counter fraud and ensure that the correct products are delivered, enhancing overall consumer confidence in online transactions.

While appreciating the government’s plan to exempt start-ups from taxes in the upcoming budget, Merchant raised concerns about the high import duties on raw materials. He argued that these duties make goods uncompetitive for exports and unaffordable in the domestic market. “It is necessary to attract companies interested in outsourced manufacturing and leverage the exchange rate to remain competitive in the region, especially against Bangladesh and India,” he added.

Merchant also highlighted the need for clear guidelines regarding imported goods and a comprehensive import policy to address the challenges posed by the lack of foreign exchange due to insufficient exports. He advised policymakers to reduce duties on imported electronic goods, suggesting that local verification through banks and the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) could help build trust in the system for international payment gateways.

The introduction of PayPal and Stripe would benefit freelancers by facilitating the inflow of foreign exchange into Pakistan, Merchant explained. This move would also channelize the foreign exchange, helping to decrease the trade deficit and boost local exports of goods and services.

Additionally, Merchant suggested that logistic companies should be included as partners to support this initiative, ensuring a seamless integration of payment gateways with the local e-commerce infrastructure.

UNISAME’s call reflects the broader sentiment within the entrepreneurial community in Pakistan, which is eager for enhanced payment solutions to drive growth and competitiveness in the global market.