It has been made clear by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) that no Google payments have been stopped.
The central bank made this statement in reaction to reports in some media outlets that stated that the Google Play Store services will not be accessible in Pakistan starting in December of this year because $34 million had not been paid to foreign service providers.
The report said, “The direct carrier billing (DCB) mechanism was discontinued by the central bank after which a payment of $34 million on an annual basis through mobile companies to international service providers, including Google, Amazon, and Meta, got stuck.”
The SBP clarified in a recent notification, “The fact is that in order to facilitate the domestic entities, SBP specified certain Information Technology (IT) related services, which such entities can acquire from abroad for their own use and make foreign exchange payments there against up to USD 100,000 per invoice.”
“Such services include Satellite Transponder, International Bandwidth/ Internet/ Private Line Services, Software License/Maintenance/Support, and service to use electronic media and databases. Entities desirous of utilizing this option designate a bank, which is approved by SBP one time. Subsequently, after designation, such payments can be processed through the designated bank, without any further regulatory approval,” it stated.
However, the SBP claimed that recent off-site checks had revealed that in addition to using the aforementioned mechanism to transfer money for IT-related services for their own use, this was also the case.
Under Direct Carrier Billing (DCB), telcos were responsible for the majority of payments made by their consumers for video games, entertainment, etc.
According to the central bank, DCB is often an online mobile payment mechanism that enables customers to make purchases by charging payments to their mobile phone carrier account.
To read our blog on “Android users in Pakistan can use Play Store services after 1st Dec,” click here.