State Bank refutes reports of Google stopping payments to State Bank
Islamabad: The State Bank of Pakistan has strongly denied reports in certain sections of the media regarding suspension of payments to Google, terming them as baseless and misleading.
According to the statement issued by the State Bank of Pakistan on Saturday, the fact is that the State Bank may appropriate some services related to information technology (IT) for the use of such institutions to facilitate the institutions of the country. Buy from overseas and make foreign currency payments up to USD 100,000 per invoice.
These services include satellite transponders, international bandwidth/Internet/private line services, soft licenses/maintenance/support, and access to electronic media and databases. Institutions desirous of exercising this option nominate a bank once approved by the State Bank. Subsequently, after this determination, the designated bank can make these payments without any further regulatory approval.
However, during the recent off-site audit, it was observed that telecom companies were transferring funds for IT related services for their own use as well as for video gaming, entertainment content etc. Billing (DCB). Most are transferring funds, using airtime to buy. DCB is generally an online mobile payment method through which users can make purchases by paying towards their mobile phone carrier bill.
The telcos were allowing their customers to purchase the above products through airtime and then showing these transactions as payment for purchase of IT services. Thus the telcos were effectively acting as intermediaries/payment aggregators by facilitating the purchase of services on behalf of their customers. Therefore, in view of the violation of foreign exchange regulations, the State Bank canceled the bank designations of the telecom companies for these payments.
Read more: Fear of suspension of Google application services in Pakistan
However, in order to facilitate their valid IT related payments, telcos have been directed to re-submit their applications through their banks. and the arrangement involves foreign exchange going out of the country, then they should approach State Bank separately through their bank. Permitted to provide such services under the Foreign Exchange Regulation Act, 1947. Instructions for purchasing tee and other services can be found at the following link.