The news about the online payments giant, PayPal, refusing to extend its services in Pakistan has created a lot of frustration among the country’s freelancers. Pakistan’s freelancer community (4th largest in the world) has shown discontent over the reports and continue to demand PayPal to initiate its services in the country.
Freelancers who work with international clients are highly disappointed as they have to continue being reliant on banks for money transfers. Not to mention, bank transfers can take 3-7 days to process. Banks usually charge exorbitant fees on top, and the exchange rates are very different as compared to the rates offered by PayPal.
Apart from the reduced and delayed payments, one of the common issue Pakistan’s freelancer community faces due to the absence of PayPal in the country is that many clients on Freelancer.com or Upwork won’t work with you if you don’t use PayPal for money transfers.
The worst part is that individual freelancers and small and medium enterprises have discovered other ways of operating their business and receiving international payments. SMEs and freelancers open accounts in international banks with the help of their friends and relatives settled in those countries. Then, they ask their clients to send payments in those accounts.
This practice shows the loopholes in the country’s financial system and internal affairs that force freelancers to receive payments in other countries. If PayPal agrees to extend its services to Pakistan, it will benefit around two lacs freelancers, more than seven thousand SMEs as well as all the unregistered e-commerce contributors.
Back in September 2018, the country’s former finance minister, Asad Umar promised the freelancers to have either PayPal or an internationally recognized payment gateway operating in Pakistan in the next 3-4 months.
But the reality is that Pakistan is nowhere on PayPal’s radar. Apparently, the company that offers its services in 190 countries across the world refused to come to Pakistan because its own internal working doesn’t facilitate its arrival in the country.
The country’s monetary regulation is not in sync with the international standards and often get criticized by International organizations. PayPal, being the biggest online payments giant can’t ignore the set benchmarks; hence, the company is not too keen to launch its services in Pakistan. Additionally, PayPal wants to expand its operations in countries where it sees growth prospects.
As per the company, the estimated expansion rate in Pakistan is too slow for them to think about extending their operations in the country. Pakistan is still a cash-based market, and many people still don’t have a bank account.
Even the credit cardholders in the country are less than 3 million. It’s no brainer to understand why an online payment exchange like PayPal cannot thrive in Pakistan. In order to combat the issue of receiving international payments, freelancers and SMEs are using online remittance services for money transfers.
The top provider used by most international clients to pay freelancers based in Pakistan is Ria Money Transfer. With Ria, clients can easily send money to Pakistan and enjoy great exchange rates and low transaction fees.
The money transfer service is available 24/7 and transactions are processed almost instantly. So next time, if a client refuses to work with you just because you don’t have access to PayPal, ask them to transfer funds using Ria money transfer, and they’ll surely agree. It’s easy, cheap, and safe!
Although online money transfer services are a blessing for the freelancer community in Pakistan, the country still has to do a lot of work in terms of improving its monetary regulations and providing a profitable market to big companies.
Author Bio: Joyce Shang is a contributing writer at Sparkwebs LLC, a Digital and Content Marketing Agency. When she’s not writing, she loves to travel, dance, and read books.
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