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State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) is finally going to draft an e-commerce policy. In a press release on Thursday, State Bank announced that the central bank and the Ministry of Commerce in a bid to attract foreign investment are going to develop a national policy on e-commerce.

Governor State Bank, Ashraf Mahmood Wathra at the 10th JazzCash International Mobile Conference said that the new e-commerce policy will help towards the establishment of the desired ecosystem for e-commerce and will also boost local trade and foreign investment in the country.

One of the biggest threats that e-commerce industry faces in Pakistan is the fear of fraud and breach of security due to faulty online security. Addressing this issue, Mr. Wathra admitted that high cost of e-payment is due to the risk associated with the method.

He further added:“A new mechanism for proactive fraud detection is being developed to safeguard merchants, consumers, and their banks.”

Governor State Bank also said that they had allowed the entry of non-banking payment system operators and service providers, but their effectiveness is yet to be witnessed in the country.

Currently, there are more than 16 million m-wallet accounts where the majority of them are inactive. He said; “A total of 110m transactions worth Rs520 billion were carried out in July-Sept.”

The tremendous growth of e-commerce in Pakistan has attracted both local and foreign investments over the years. But the major problem still lies with this industry as a major portion of it is still undocumented.

In Pakistan, we have a few payment gateways like JazzCash, Telenor EasyPay that can help secure online payments but still, taxes cannot be implemented as the SBP can’t trace the transactions.

Irfan Wahab, CEO of Telenor Pakistan in an interview last year said that the entire e-commerce industry in Pakistan which values at $100 million will become a $10 billion industry in five years. There is a

here is a huge gap in the forecast of government and that of the people in private sector, but one thing’s certain that it’ll see a boost in the coming years.

Recently, Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce giant, expressed interest in the Pakistani industry and is also rumored to acquire Daraz, thus launching itself in the Pakistan’s e-commerce industry.

The tech giant Google also offered its help to Pakistan in the development IT, promotion of e-commerce and assisting in attracting investment in Pakistan.

Source: Dawn

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