The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has recently granted approval for commencement of pilot operations of NIFT’s (National Institutional Facilitation Technologies) e-Commerce Payment Gateway called “NIFT ePay”. This makes NIFT, the first domestic and account-based “e-Commerce Payment Gateway” to get an approval for the pilot launch under the PSO/PSP rules.
NIFT ePay’s primary focus is to execute interoperable and secure digital commerce payments in Pakistan using details of bank account or wallet. This provides an opportunity for the customers who don’t have conventional instruments for digital payments such as Debit or Credit Card to conduct e-commerce transactions directly through their transactional accounts and wallets. These customers may maintain their account/wallets with any member financial institutions connected to NIFT ePay which gives these financial institutions an opportunity to offer an interoperable digital payments platform for all their collection mandates through an account-based local payment gateway.
NIFT is an existing Payment System Operator/Provider (PSO/PSP) offering nation-wide cheque clearing services to financial organizations across Pakistan. NIFT has been providing consistent services to the financial industry over the past two decades and it’s now creating reliable, secure, and interoperable payments systems that enable different digital payments use cases in Pakistan. For this purpose, NIFT ePay envisions to enhance its gateway to digitize payments for corporates and governments through its “Contextual Funds Transfer (CFT)” and create interoperability for many other use-cases, while aligning itself with the ‘Digital Pakistan’ program by Government of Pakistan and the ‘National Payment Systems Strategy’ and ‘MPG’ initiatives being undertaken by State Bank of Pakistan.
NIFT has collaborated with TPS for implementing the NIFT ePay’s complete technology stack. TPS is a leading payments technology company fostering the financial technology ecosystem in the country for accelerating innovation in the financial service landscape. NIFT ePay’s launch is the first step towards creating an inclusive environment which will not only offer fully agnostic aggregation of digital payments methods but will also provide a secure and open access to start-ups, fintechs, retailers, large scale corporates, SMEs and Government Institutions to digitize their collections use-case, disrupting the digital financial services play in the country
Speaking on this milestone, Mr. Haider Wahab, CEO NIFT remarked,
I would like to extend our sincere thanks for the continuous support provided by the SBP throughout our efforts for promoting digital financial services in Pakistan through NIFT ePay. I believe that this approval serves as a key step towards the promotion of new payments-related use cases resulting in uptake of digital commerce payments in Pakistan. Enabling interoperable payment use cases of PSOs and PSPs will further streamline the digital payments landscape in Pakistan. NIFT looks forward to playing a contributory role in digitizing payments and digital financial services in Pakistan.
Mr. Shahzad Shahid CEO TPS also shared his views on this approval and said,
Digital Pakistan can be built on digital railroads that allow secure, contextual, and cost-effective payments by individuals and businesses directly from the account and digital wallets for e-commerce purchases, Government services, and all other payment needs. TPS is proud to be part of this strategic initiative of NIFT and we aim to contribute to developing a paperless economy through digital payments.