THE Electronic Certification Accreditation Council (ECAC) is changing paper-based documents to support commercial transactions. While the ECAC speaks for universally acceptable and reliable electronic transactions, there are a number of challenges that need considering.
Although recently formed — and it being necessary to get accredited by the ECAC to conduct e-transactions in both private and public sectors — few businesses are registered and complying under the certification standard.
The absence of robust compliance measures and/or sanctions will encourage few to part with their traditional ways. The high fee for applying and then registering can be irksome to some. In Pakistan, many businesses operate unregistered and are happy to do so. For them, moving to a more secured yet detectable enterprise can put one off.
Additionally, cyber security and cyber legislation are in a fragile state, more constricting and less facilitating for the common man, hence the limited level of trust in government-based institutions.
To be successful, allowing secured digital systems, cyber laws need to overcome their propensity to curtail fundamental rights like free speech. Businesses should be encouraged to register by providing a more commerce-friendly environment.
The fee should be subject to qualification criteria that meet the size of the business. Additional training should be provided to entrepreneurs ensuring digital literacy and know how.
Dr Mobeen Shah
Published in Dawn, November 18th, 2019