An Open Letter by a Pakistani to PayPal/Ebay

We have discussed before on how difficult it is to setup an online business in Pakistan, with so little (almost no) e-commerce infrastructure available in the country – Thanks to incompatibility of Pakistani banks for online payment processing procedures.

Paypal, one of leading payment processing solution providers does not support/allow any Pakistani to be its member, due to many reasons, including its policy.

Couple of days ahead, Jehan Ara published a open letter by Faisal Khan, CEO, Net Access Communications to John Donahoe, President and CEO, eBay Inc and Mr. Scott Thompson, President, PayPal.

Below is the content of letter…!

January 11, 2009

John Donahoe
President and CEO
eBay Inc.
2145 Hamilton Avenue
San Jose, CA 95125

Subject: PayPal for Pakistan

Dear Mr. Donahoe,

I understand you are someone who is immensely busy and have thousands of other important issues to deal with, but I thought I’d try my luck with you. I’ve been writing to PayPal / eBay since 2002 regarding issuance of PayPal accounts for Pakistan, in 2005 I started including eBay in my correspondences to include eBay accounts for Pakistan.

I have never received a reply back. Twice in the past, I received a reply back (filed via customer services) that my ‘complaint’ has been lodged and PayPal will look into it. Other than that, have not gotten a satisfactory reply.

The issue – simple. Why is eBay / PayPal not being offered for Pakistan?

I just finished reading an article on your hand-on approach in TIME Magazine (Issue 12 January 2009 – Asian Edition, Page 35, written by Kristina Dell), it simply compelled me to get on the computer and write another letter to eBay / PayPal. The article gave me hope (again!)

Pakistan – purely from your business perspective may not be that big of an economy, but it surely has an economy that is larger and more active than Bhutan, Chad, Honduras, Somalia, Maldives, Rwanda, Uganda, Yemen –combined!

If these countries can have the privilege of obtaining a PayPal account, why not Pakistan?

As Pakistanis cannot legally have a PayPal account, 1000s of users here circumvent the system and obtain PayPal IDs from their friends and relatives abroad to use and conduct commerce. This should be of no surprise to you.

The same can be said about eBay.

Like I cited, we may not be that big on your radar, perhaps we’re not even equated to a blip, but a country of 170 Million, to be blatantly ignored (you may agree or disagree on my choice of words, if the above mentioned countries can have PayPal, I’d like to know what piece of legislation, law, banking infrastructure, etc. prevents eBay/PayPal from including Pakistan under your countries-in-which-you-work umbrella).

Pakistan’s predominant trading Partner happens to be the US. Within respect to both imports and exports (discounting oil).

The first time I experienced eBay and PayPal in the summer of 2001 whilst briefly working in the US – I was mesmerized to say the least. Till date, I wish we had the privilege of conducting business on a website so many take for granted.

This is not meant to be a protest letter by any means. In fact it is one of a very humble request. A request whose time has come, and was long overdue. I have in the past cited my willingness to help, providing information or getting eBay / PayPal connected to Banks, regulators, whomsoever you would like to meet. I am, in no way proposing or advocating a ‘role’ for myself – my intention is just to help.

Is it too much to think that perhaps this one letter will get the ball rolling. Or if the ball is already rolling, yield the desired result. Will this letter be tacked on your things-to-do board and actually get done with? Is this the right time to plead the case for my country?

I’ll end my letter with a quote from Dale Carnegie (sorry, couldn’t find a befitting Irish quote) “Most of the important things in the world have been accomplished by people who have kept on trying when there seemed to be no hope at all.”

I just want to be able to have an eBay and a PayPal account from Pakistan. In the event you want to reach me, the easiest way is via email, my personal email address is [email protected] and official email address is [email protected]

Net Access Communication Systems (Private) Limited
Karachi, Pakistan.

CC: Mr. Scott Thompson, President, PayPal.

Tech reporter with over 10 years of experience, founder of ProPakistani.PK

  • Dear All,

    PayPal/ Ebay will not come /offer services in Pakistan until one Loyal from our ministry will give them good offer & assure them of security.

    If PAlPAl will come /offer services in Pakistan then i’m sure there will be a 900% time booost in Pakistan Online IT & Trade industry.

    This will also enable the exporter to sent & receive Payments Securely.

    But all depends on IF… If they come….

  • Ah, Hoping that they Come Legally in Pakistan

    however i have three paypal accounts got via friends , but they are all illegal and there r dozens of problems of payments ,

    • dear Hammad,
      please guide me about ebay with paypal or Ebay with monney bookers , how to use ?



  • Thank you for publishing my letter here. Just a small update, the letters were delivered to both the gentlemen, now its a wait and see.

    Secondly, lets be positive about the whole thing. If the outcome is negative, we simply try harder. To give up or blame someone else is easy, but persistence will pay off InshahAllah.

    I’ve updated this progress on my Blog.


  • Well.. Running an online shop in Pakistan, I am really not worried about actually getting paypal here although it would be nice, and maybe we would be able to cater to consumers outside Pakistan. However, I believe with services like Moneybookers and AlertPay there are alternatives that are helping Pakistani’s make online transactions at ease, we should look towards them instead of waiting. As for running an online business in Pakistan, Online Bazaar is accepting a lot of forms of payment including Moneybookers, Paypal, Google Checkout, Bank Drafts, Cash on Delivery to Major Cities and we have had good experience with our customers. I believe where you want to do something, you always find a way.

  • Thanks for Mr. Faisal Khan and his efforts regarding Paypal/ebay. In contrast with this reality that Paypal have very big user base. Payal doesn’t need us, but we need them. We have huge banking system in Pakistan which supports and offer Credit card to facilitate the west. We have good asian banks like MCB etc, why these banks or their networks facilitate or approach to Paypal/ebay and offers their indirect platform , if they are not willing to facilitate directly. Pakistan can get huge foreign exchange. That’s only reason is enough for our banking sector to work over. If they would like to do i think they will.

  • Kashif, very correctly said, PayPal doesn’t need us, we need them. That is the reality of it all. However, I am also a firm believer that eBay and PayPal are not just ‘private’ entities. They are publicly traded companies, and henceforth have an obligation to the consumer markets that exist. One should question as to why our great country cannot enjoy the benefits of PayPal, whilst Rwanda, Chad and Somalia can? This is injustice as far as I think of it.

    The goal is now – no matter what the outcome, to keep a constant flow of communication with PayPayl and Ebay. Even if they cite a very stern NO.

    Monday was a holiday in the US, and today is the inauguration So I think give it a couple of days, and a reply should be forth-coming. In addition (visa pending) InshahAllah in April/May I am going to the US, and will especially be making a detour to make an appointment with the two gentlemen I have addressed in my letter and meet with them. The meeting will be arranged by Eisenhower Fellowship Program Officer (yes, I’ll be one of the Fellows for 2009).

  • Dear Faisal,

    Some couple of years, the C.E.O of my companyto whom i was employed on those days, also tried to work to become a payment processor for Pakistan. They arrange different meetings with different authorities of State Bank Of Pakistan. But you know without taking “Tea Water” expense nobody here specially in Govt. Sector even listen your voice. That’s why due to lack of interest from Govt. sector they decided to withdraw.

    I hurt by a news i saw in Jang , some couple of months ago that even Microsoft had contacted for investment in Pakistan and to groom our youth. But our past Govt. was not agreed without taking any % of commission.

  • Ok, guys its all good to effort for Paypal and ebay, but please can anyone suggest me some good payment processing service to receive payments in Pakistan.

  • Dear all,i appriciate your effort for PAYPAL.Can anyone plz tell me that i a have relative in England.So if want to creat account,then it will be created here in pakistan in His/Her name or there in England.

  • Hi! My name is Fritz,

    We can set up a PayPal account from Pakistan for you. An official account With your own personal data. 100% legal, 100% safe, 100% secure and 100% rentable.
    You will make business with ease, you will win the trust of your customers so that the money will naturally flow.
    contact us to [email protected] to get more informations about our service. Or check the group “My PayPal account in Pakistan” in facebook.


  • paypal will not come to pakistan unless we the theiving, robbing, fruading pakistanis come to our senses and stop doing credit card frauds, I am sick and tired of us pakistanis being involved in such scams because of which good business owners cant use paypal and ebay like services

    • No brother i am not agree with your remarks. See these faqs ( )- see Q5, from one of the shopping site FAQ having the list of most fraudulent countries around the globe. But Fortunately Pakistan is not in the list. If you have any stats from reliable resource then share it please.

  • Hello to All,

    I am very upset becaz our country is not listed in Paypal a/c categories.I have lost my several customers who made payment through the paypal unfortunately.

  • Well done Faisal Sahab its a very good start inshallah a day will come when all Pakistani will benefit from it..,.,plz keep it up and I am here to give you any sort of help,..,plz take care of yourself.

  • Thank you for writing the great letter Mr Faisal Khan but I really feel that when nothing is being done its us who have to do something about it and now it has been done by someone within us only.

    I tried this website which lets you buy anything from eBay while being in Pakistan and makes sure that you get a safe and secure delivery at your home in Pakistan and it worked as I got the delivery within 7 days.

    I am not someone who is a part of this website but just a customer who feels all us Pakistanis should know about this great service being offered by these people as buying things from ebay in pakistan as always been a problem.

  • is now accepting paypal. if any one of your buyer want to send you money or if any of your friend send you money from paypal 2checkout accepting paypal now!!!

    in pakistan many many of business man using paypal verified account, because if they are working in pakistan they have backoffice in uk and USA..they have workpermit they can open account in UK AND USA and can easily use paypal now a days.. thousands of pakistani using paypal .. and paypal know very well paypal running in pakistan even not listed in list of country…business man using US and UK bank and credit cards fro verifying their account and they all are legal no fraud.

  • You know when Pakistani sellers sell something, they do it through their relatives and friends living abroad , the turn over of this electronic money transferred via international routes is a huge amount . Most Goverments are aware of it but all the same it helps their economy as the money moves via their country and these companies like paypal also know that. There is no such thing as Pakistan lacks in infrastructure it’s because they would never want third world muslim country to benefit from such an opportunity. If you look at the things from their perspective even thought we don’t have a platform but we are still in the competition , if we have a platform they we suffer huge losses .

  • You know when Pakistani sellers sell something, they do it through their relatives and friends living abroad , the turn over of this electronic money transferred via international routes is a huge amount . Most Goverments are aware of it but all the same it helps their economy as the money moves via their country and these companies like paypal also know that. There is no such thing as Pakistan lacks in infrastructure it’s because they would never want third world muslim country to benefit from such an opportunity. If you look at the things from their perspective even thought we don’t have a platform but we are still in the competition , if we have a platform they will be out of the competition .

  • I endorsed the views of Faisal Khan & hope that Ebay/PayPAl will soon extend their services to Pakistan. Insha Allah.

  • Dear All,

    Effort from Mr. Faisal is really appreciable. But I really felt unjustified for not seeing Pakistan in the country list while making PayPal account. This is 20th Jun’ 2011 almost 2 and half years after a request letter made by Mr. Faisal.

    I do not know why some people in the world always like discrimination. But I am still quite hopeful that these guys will come to Pakistan very soon.


  • i am waitng too for paypal to start its services in Pakistan. defiantly we will boost 1000%
    and may be this is the reason they are not doing this.

  • close