Pakistan’s freelance community is experiencing a wave of excitement and new possibilities with the introduction of a frameworkthe State Bank that allows them to open Exporters’ Special Foreign Currency Accounts to retain their dollars [source]. This development, combined with the integration of Sadapay with Apple Pay and GPay, has opened up new avenues for freelancers to receive direct payments into their digital wallets [source]. The increasing adoption of digital wallets among Pakistan’s tech-savvy population signifies a shift towards a more convenient and efficient way of accessing financial services.
While the freelance community celebrates these advancements, the electronic money institution (EMI) industry has not been without its challenges. In recent times, there has been a significant exodus of EMIs from the market, with several entities having their licenses revoked or voluntarily exiting the country [source]. The complexities and limited profitability of the EMI business, coupled with Pakistan’s economic climate, have contributed to this exodus.
However, amidst the challenges, a few entities have managed to thrive in the digital wallet space. The State Bank of Pakistan’s Payment Systems Review reveals that EMIs recorded a throughput of Rs 222.2 billion across 81.5 million transactions in the first full year of their commercial operations [source]. Notably, in Q4-FY23, EMIs witnessed a staggering year-over-year growth of 824% in transactions and 656% in value,...
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