ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has asked all the stakeholders to identify gaps in current e-payment systems on the basis of international best practices to help formulate a roadmap for developing a robust system for quick local and cross-border transactions.
The direction came from the minister during a meeting with stakeholders on the establishment of Pakistan International E-payment Gateway (IPG). The IPG will pave the way for financial inclusion and payment digitisation which is a sub-component of the 9-pillars of Pakistan’s E-commerce Policy.
The IPG is believed to provide an efficient e-payment infrastructure that allows for smooth and quick local and cross-border transactions by issuing rules, regulations and guidelines.
Mr Tarin directed to follow best international practices and devise a way forward for implementing international payment gateway ensuring transparency and due consultation with key stakeholders both in public and private sectors.
Mr Tarin constituted a four-member committee headed by the secretary commerce and comprising representatives of Ministry of Commerce, Finance Division and FBR. The minister further directed to seek input from the president Pakistan Banking Association (PBA) and leading market players from the private sector to understand their requirements and present a framework for further deliberation after four weeks.
IT Minister Amin-ul-Haque, Commerce Adviser Abdul Razak Dawood, NITB chief executive Hussain Abbas Kazmi, Secretary Commerce Sualeh Faroqi, senior policy analyst and other senior officers participated in the meeting. State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir joined the meeting through a video link.
The consultative session was held with the stakeholders to identify gaps between payment solutions available domestically and its integration with international payment gateway solution providers to promote e-commerce.
In Pakistan four banks — MCB, UBL, HBL and Bank Alfalah — are providing IPG services. Apart from these, two microfinance banks also work as merchant aggregators and are providing e-commerce gateway to their clients while leveraging on four IPGs in Pakistan.
Meanwhile, Mr Dawood briefed the participants about the current digital financial landscape in the country. And the SBP chief outlined steps being taken for the financial inclusion of domestic banks.
The IT minister assured full facilitation in provision of enabling environment to the service providers as needed under IPG. All the stakeholders will have to develop a paper for implementation.
Mr Tarin stated that government will be the facilitator and regulator in a journey towards implementing IPG. The establishment of international e-payment gateway will improve consumer confidence in e-commerce through global connectivity.
Published in Dawn, September 22nd, 2021