Telcos agitate as SBP bars foreign payments directly through carriers.

ISLAMABAD -- The telecom industry is agitating against a central bank restriction that bars users from making international payments directly through their mobile carriers, a method that makes paid media services and mobile gaming more accessible to customers on a global scale, especially those who don't have bank accounts or credit cards.

However, in a recent meeting, the IT and telecom ministry expressed its inability to help the telecom sector in this regard but assured representatives of cellular mobile operators that it would forward the matter to the finance ministry and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP).

The telcos have argued that restricting these kinds of payments - or direct carrier billing (DCB) - would adversely affect several IT businesses.

The representatives of Jazz, Telenor, Ufone and Zong met the ministry IT member, Junaid Imam, and presented their concerns. The official told them that the matter would be forwarded to the IT minister and secretary.

IT ministry expresses inability to help telecom firms, will refer matter to finance ministry, central bank

Meanwhile, sources in the ministry said that the telecom representatives were told that the app purchases and other subscriptions could also be made through credit and debit cards, and the SBP had only restricted the DCB gateway for international payments.

Currently, around $60 million is paid annually through mobile carriers to pay for some apps and tools or subscription fees of several over-the-top (OTT) platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime Video, sources said. Comparatively, IT exports...

To continue reading

Request your trial

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT