KARACHI: This is with reference to Monis Rahman’s article “PayPal in Pakistan” (May 6). I received an email from Payoneer (they issue prepaid MasterCards) stating that certain countries have been listed by the US government as having strategic Anti-Money Laundering (AML) deficiencies, hence if the card holder is residing in Pakistan – among other countries – then they need to withdraw funds by May 31, 2010.
It is no surprise that online payments and e-commerce options suffer as a direct consequence of such bans. The only reason Citibank has managed to open an online gateway is because they happen to split the fee for the payment gateway with over 30 countries in the region. With a high fraud index they simply can not risk it. However, all is not lost. Within Pakistan, money bookers are allowed, thankfully. While it is not as widely accepted as PayPal, at least there is a start for those who hope to start an online business.