State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has given approval to 12 PSP/PSO operators to commence their operations at different levels in their specific fields with a particular set of services under the license.
Among these operators, half of the companies have been operating in the financial sector, providing various transaction services under the scope of their license across the country. Two of the operators were granted approval for pilot operations and testing, and four of these companies received in-principle approval from the banking regulator.
In 2021, SafePay Pvt Limited was given in-principle approval for its plan to set up an e-commerce payment gateway. The e-commerce payment gateway of NIFT Pvt Limited has been granted final approval to start its operations across the country.
The e-commerce sector is on the rise, which demands the role of new operators in this field to meet the demand of the local market. Hence, it is likely that more operators will be given the go-ahead signal to commence their commercial operations by the banking regulator subsequently after the procedural and technical evaluation of their services.
Besides e-commerce payment networks, these institutions are licensed to provide services to Pakistanis as an electronic platform for clearing, processing, routing, and switching of electronic transactions.
Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs)
SBP has granted pilot and in-principle approvals to six Electronic Money Institutions (EMIs). Two EMIs, Finja and NayaPay, are operational in Pakistan offering various services to their customers.
This year, the banking regulatory granted in-principle approval to M/s Akhtar Fuiou Technologies Pvt. Ltd., which plans to launch e-money wallets for consumers.
According to SBP, in-principle approval letters are granted to PSOs/PSPs and EMIs based on the information submitted by them and the review of their application for In-Principle approval under rules.
Some of these operators have not made any progress, despite having received approvals from the regulator many years ago. These companies should be given a deadline to make advancements towards the launch of their services after consultation and resolutions of their issues related to technical and regulatory nature.