Pakistan has seen a shift in transferring and receiving payments through the years. However, still, people trust conventional methods more than new online methods for transferring and receiving payments, despite this, the concept is continually evolving and amassing great momentum in the Pakistani market as the country has seen a surge in e-commerce businesses. Even as the cash method still remains dominant.
A boost of $36 billion and a 7% GDP boost by 2025 is projected in a McKinsey Global Institute report on how digital finance would be a catalyst for these projected boosts, expected to create 4 million new jobs if it should keep growing.
The following are the most widely adopted payment methods in Pakistan:
- Bank Transfer
- Wire Transfer
- PayOrder/Demand Draft<
- Western Union
- Ria Money Transfer
- Keenu Wallet
- Virtual Card
1. Bank Transfer
Pakistan’s most widely adopted method for transferring and receiving money is conventional bank transfer. Users are filling out forms in banks and then deposit cash through their respective banks. This method is considered safest in Pakistan and the reason for its use.
Moreover, users can do a bank transfer online, by accessing their online banking portal and filling out the bank transfer details.
Often, the only details they have to provide are the recipient’s name, bank branch name, and account number. Some banks may also request a reason for the transfer.
They can then click “send”, confirm those details, and then wait for the transaction to complete. Most bank transfers are between customers of the same bank.
2. Wire Transfer
A wire transfer is an electronic method for transferring payments. The conventional wire transfer is usually sent from one bank to another bank with a SWIFT code. This method is also considered the safest for transferring payments.
Bank wire transfer in Pakistan is done between customers using different banks. Unlike a bank transfer, a wire transfer is likely to cost more.
The standard time for a wire transfer to complete is between 1 business day and 5 business days. Just like a bank transfer, you can do it online or visit your local branch.
All you need to have is the receiver’s banking details, and enough funds in your bank account to cover the sending fees and the amount you want to send.
3. PayOrder/Demand Draft
The payOrder or demand draft is mostly used for official purposes in Pakistan. Most of the universities are accepting the demand draft for fee submission. A user is required to deposit cash in a bank which in return issues the user with a demand draft having information about the individual or university to which payment is to be made.
A pay order is also called a banker’s check, and it can only be cashed in the same branch that issued it. On the other hand, a demand draft can be cashed at any branch of the bank that issued it.
That is why most businesses in Pakistan will prefer that you pay them through a demand draft, instead of a payment order.
A demand draft is the bank’s guarantee that it will pay the amount in full when the demand draft is presented. The bank is able to make that guarantee by putting on hold some amount in the payee’s bank account, which is equal to the value of the demand draft.
Easypaisa is the first digital payment method introduced in Pakistan by telecom operator Telenor. It is a mobile app-based payment method through which users can transfer and receive money securely. With the mobile application of EasyPaisa users can recharge mobiles, buy data bundles, and do online shopping or pay utility bills.
Launched in 2009 by Telenor Pakistan and Tameer Microfinance Bank, it has reached a great status as the third-largest mobile payment method in the world with 7.4 million users.
At the time of writing this article, Easypaisa was the only mobile payment service in Pakistan. Users verify their transactions using a QR code, which the payer scans to send the payment.
Easypaisa offers its payment service in partnership with MasterPass, and it is now available as an Android app, making it accessible to users from all networks. Previously, the service was limited to Telenor mobile operator’s customers only.
JazzCash is introduced by another telecom operator Jazz. JazzCash is also a wallet-based payment system through which users can send and receive payments, recharge mobiles, and buy data bundles or pay utility bills.
It is a branchless banking system launched in 2012 formerly known as MobiCash which works like a mobile number-tagged bank account that can be operated on every type of phone not necessarily requiring smartphones with access to your account from any location.
Upaisa is introduced by the telecom operator Ufone launched in 2013 as a branchless banking service company. Through this wallet-based payment system, users can do online transactions easily, pay utility bills, and recharge mobile phones.
Upaisa also offers debit cards that can be used for drawing cash from local ATM machines. It’s a service made available in over 45,000 locations across Pakistan quickly becoming a sort-after service in the industry.
Its services offer users the same services they would get by accessing an online banking service. It’s not limited to a particular mobile network, and users can access it from any location in Pakistan. To open an account with UPaisa, users need to dial *786# from their mobile phones.
After that, users have to visit any Ufone franchise and present their original CNIC, as well as their biometric data to verify their identity. After that, they can start using their Upaisa account.
Payoneer is an online payment system that has been adopted by online businessmen and freelancers all across Pakistan. Using Payoneer in Pakistan, users can draw cash through debit cards from ATM machines in local currency and can also send money to their bank accounts as well.
Currently, with over 4 million and counting customers, Payoneer offers a guaranteed low transaction fee and flexibility in accessing cash. It operates globally in over 200 countries and 150 currencies allowing you to send money online from Pakistan internationally.
GoLootLo is introduced by the National Bank of Pakistan and is a debit card-based payment system. GolootLo is like an online wallet that must be recharged. However, only payments can be made through this debit card to its registered retail stores offering a discount.
PayPak is a domestic payment system introduced in Pakistan by 1Link under the registration of the State Bank of Pakistan. At the moment, 20 different banking systems in the country have adopted payments through it.
It was founded in 2016 to save inter-change costs of International Payment Schemes., operating primarily through PayPak cards which can only be used in ATMs and POS services and are yet to launch online transactions.
Moneygram is a payment method specifically used for receiving payments sent from abroad. Through MoneyGram people living abroad send payments to their family members. A code is generated which is granted at the time of transaction and receivers can get payments after filling out a form and telling the banker the secret code.
11. Western Union
Western Union is mostly used for exchanging currencies, however, it is also used for sending and receiving payments globally. A user can send money in international currency to someone living abroad or receive money in local currency.
Western Union still maintains its position as the largest and most global reach money transfer company despite the emergence of smaller companies in competition with over 500,00 agent locations globally and online transactional services in 33 countries allowing transactions to over 200 countries globally. In 2014 the company reported a revenue total of $5.6 billion and an average net profit margin of 15.1%.
An annual performance review by the State Bank of Pakistan proves a rapid digital payment adaption rate accounting for a 17% year-on-year growth between 2016 and 2017 with a total of 625.8 million digital transactions made by banks, businesses, and consumers worth Rs37.1 trillion in 2017 with ATMs being the most general and frequent method of cash withdrawal totaling an amount of 379.7 million transactions valued at about Rs.4.6 trillion. In 2017 the Ramazan and Eidul Fitr holidays recorded a total of Rs442 billion withdrawn by the use of ATMs.
12. Ria Money Transfer
Ria Money Transfer provides users with online money transfers to Pakistan from one location to another. This company is present in several countries among which is Pakistan. At the moment, Ria Money Transfer has become quite popular and it is seen among the top three money transfer services in the world. This platform has been established in Pakistan and it allows its clients to transfer money within and outside the country.
Sending money using Ria Money Transfer is easy. All that is needed is for the sender to provide their name. phone number, address, the receiver’s phone number, and bank details. Once this information is provided, the transfer process can be completed.
HBL-Konnect is a simple payment gateway solution that lets users purchase goods and services at their convenience. Once a merchant is registered to receive payment via HBL-Konnect, they can make payments using the platform. Examples of transactions that occur on HBL-Konnect include bills payment, fast food ordering, and much more.
14. Keenu Wallet
Keenu Wallet functions as an electronic card that lets users exchange money via electronic devices. Once a user registers, it works by connecting their profile to their account. Therefore, money can be quickly sent from one user to another. Keenu Wallet uses the latest security features to ensure clients get the most secure transaction process. Over the years, the use of these services has significantly increased in Pakistan.
FonePay is amongst the biggest and the first electronic payment gateways in Pakistan. Power-driven by Mastercard, it offers Pakistanis access to an effective and efficient payment solution that works for a wide range of businesses, goods, and lifestyle services.
A business can easily register with FonePay by going to the website, signing up, and linking their bank account to the platform. Doing this allows businesses to receive payments from their clients through the use of unique QR codes. Likewise, customers can similarly register with FonePay. The best part of using FonePay is that customers can use multiple bank accounts.
16. Virtual Card
Several banks within Pakistan are giving their clients access to virtual cards. These virtual cards are debit cards and are connected to the personal account of customers. It allows users to pay for goods and services online within a particular spending limit threshold. An example of such a card is the MCB debit card.
The State Bank of Pakistan which plays an integral part in regulating the payment systems in the country continually pulls efforts to promote digital payments as an alternative to cash, performing a catalyst role in operating, monitoring, supervising, and setting future directions following a global trend. Payment systems are available through Large-Value and Retail Payment system platforms. These listed payment methods are considered the safest, fastest, and most reliable methods in Pakistan.
Is Paytm Available in Pakistan
Paytm is primarily available within India. Yet, people in a few other countries can access this service. If you want to use Paytm in Pakistan, the first thing you must do is download the app from Google Play or App Store. After installing the app, you must sign up before you are allowed to add funds to the account. You can use multiple methods to add funds to your account on Paytm in Pakistan. Some of these methods include:
- Card payment;
- Cash deposit;
- Bank transfer.
In addition, you can make payment with this application through a QR code or the receiver’s phone number.
Is CashApp Available in Pakistan
In general, CashApp is not available in Pakistan. People who insist on opening an account with this platform can do so using a VPN, an American number, and other fictitious details. However, opening an account this way will make it unverifiable. Likewise, you cannot withdraw resources from such an account. The only available option is to withdraw through cryptocurrency like Bitcoin or Ethereum. Therefore, the core features of the application cannot be accessed in Pakistan unless you have residency in the UK or the US.
Online International Payment Methods in Pakistan
As a developing nation, Pakistan has multiple online international payment methods. Each of the payment gateways lets Pakistanis receive and make payments to global clients. Below is a description of some of the most popular online international payment methods in Pakistan.
Since PayPal is not functional in Pakistan, Payoneer serves as an excellent alternative. This payment gateway allows individuals and organizations to send, receive, and withdraw money in international and local currencies. Also, users get access to their funds via a prepaid Mastercard, which can be used on ATMs and POS machines globally.
Wise is pretty similar to Pyaoneer and PayPal. It allows users to send and receive international payments in different currencies. Likewise, Pakistanis can access their resources via debit cards.
Money Transfer Services in Pakistan
In Pakistan, citizens and visitors have the option to access money transfer services via various platforms. Below are some of the most popular services to consider.
- UBL Omni
The three services mentioned are mobile payment platforms, which lets users make transfers, make purchases, and pay bills. In addition, other services offer Pakistanis transfer-only services. These globally recognized institutions are MoneyGram and Western Union. Each of these services allows for the inflow and outflow of money in more than 200 countries.
Paypal Alternative in Pakistan
PayPal is considered one of the top international payment options in the world. Unfortunately, this service is not available in Pakistan. However, there are various options to choose from, which include the following.
- Ria Money Transfer
With any of these digital money transfer platforms, users can send and receive money to multiple locations globally. Also, various options for completing transfers exist, including mobile money, bank transfers, cash pickup, and card services.
Mailed Check in Pakistan
For decades, mailed checks have served people within Pakistan. This conventional method allows a bank owner to send money or payments to a recipient via check. Due to modernity, this option is mostly not used by people now. Part of the reason is the postal system of the country is unreliable and slow. As such, people needing to make prompt payments prefer using online banking and electronic payment services. Moreover, widespread corruption makes checks vulnerable to forgery. In addition, a large portion of businesses does not have a provision for processing payments via check.