ISLAMABAD: The National e-Commerce Council (NeCC) on Thursday approved the joint project of National Institutional Facilitation Technologies (Nift) and Checkout.com to bring international payment methods to Pakistan.

Nift — a major Pakistani transactional clearing facilitator — had signed a memorandum of understanding with Checkout.com, a UK-headquartered fintech which offers payments in more than 150 currencies, in-country acquiring, fraud filters and reporting.

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 e-commerce across Pakistan.

Headed by Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, the NeCC also reviewed the implementation of various measures including taxing e-commerce and logistics facilities in the meeting.

Checkout accepts payments from all major international card schemes, including Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Union Pay as well as popular alternative and local methods. It brings a unified offering of all the prominent international channels and wallets such as PayPal, AliPay, Apple Pay and Google Pay.

The NeCC is a body of representatives from public and private sector and it was constituted in line with the directions of National e-Commerce Policy of Pakistan. Its main objective is to develop effective collaboration with all relevant sectors for practical implementation of the e-commerce policy.

At the sideline of the meeting, an MoU was also signed between Pakistan Software Exporters Association and Chain Store Association of Pakistan to promote the use of indigenous technology and connectivity of small and medium enterprises.

An update was also shared from the Federal Board of Revenue on harmonisation of taxation regime through National Tax Council and taxation facilitation introduced for private sector with the intention to promote e-commerce.

The Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunications updated about personal data protection bill the revised draft of which will be available for public comments within a month or two.

Published in Dawn, September 25th, 2020