In Pakistan, Google Play Store services won’t be available from December 1 through 2022.
Beginning on December 1, 2022, mobile users won’t be able to access Google Play Store services since the State Bank of Pakistan prohibited the payment of $34 million to international service providers.
After the national bank stopped using the quick transporter charging (DCB) system, the annual instalment of $34 million to foreign specialist companies like Google, Amazon, and Meta through mobile firms slowed down.
To make purchases using Visa or credit cards in Pakistan, customers will be obliged to download Google and other new programmes. However, most mobile users presumably won’t have the option to download apps through the Google Play Store because the Mastercard option is only available to a certain amount of customers.
The Pakistan Telecom Authority (PTA), the Service of Data Innovation and Telecom, and four cell mobile operators (CMOs) jointly sent a letter to the SBP on Friday asking it to reconsider its decision to forego the DCB system for the payment of the dollar charge in light of the ongoing liquidity crisis in the nation.
The News received confirmation that Google services like application downloads will not be available via reputable government sources. They warned the appropriate professionals that a $34 million payment was over due and that, if it was not made, their services for Google Application Store downloads would not be offered.
In a joint letter to the government, the four mobile operators said that in addition to other major contributions in the form of tax, tariffs, and other levies, the telecom sector is one of the largest donors to foreign direct investment.
The areas where Pakistan’s digital economy heavily rely on foreign service providers include hosting on cloud platforms, licencing requirements for services/platforms, security measures, and frequently technical skills to upskill the domestic workforce to meet international standards.
All of the major players, including Google, Amazon, and Meta, are struggling as a result of non-payment and are most likely to discontinue offering their services altogether. As a result, consumers of telecom and internet services won’t be able to meet their needs from digital platforms like digital banking, e-commerce, e-education, and e-health that rely on cloud infrastructure and demand licences for both applications and web-based platforms.
It is impossible to disregard the role that the telecom industry has played in advancing the goals of Digital Pakistan. All stakeholders must be involved in and facilitate Pakistan’s digital transformation if it is to have a positive impact on all social and economic sectors.
Selling digital platforms will become very challenging due to the absence of distribution assistance and interest from market leaders like Google, Amazon, and Apple who represent Facebook. This will have an effect on businesses, services, and products outside of the digital space. The most effective avenue for all businesses, goods, and services right now is digital marketing.
The letter added that “any potential disruption of such digital services owing to non-payments will create a lot of criticism about Pakistan in the globe in this age of social media and should be avoided at all costs.”
“It is pertinent to mention here that we all understand the current challenge of the worsening economic conditions of the country and are open to working in an amicable manner with the Regulator (SBP); as we are already working with them in case of the telecom sector imports related transactions to navigate through these trying times,” the letter’s conclusion read.