The Opportunities and Threats for E-Commerce in Pakistan – Insight View

The Opportunities and Threats for E-Commerce in Pakistan

Recently, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) published a report regarding The Opportunities and Threats for E-Commerce in Pakistan. As per the report, Pakistan’s E-commerce will reach a benchmark of $1 Billion in 2020. However, E-Commerce potential is far greater than what we are expecting.


It is worth mentioning that Egypt has the same economic dynamics as Pakistan has but Egypt’s E-Commerce industry comprises $5 Billion. Furthermore, our neighboring country Iran has the E-Commerce industry approximately $18.5 Billion. Despite international sanctions and tough economic conditions, Iran’s E-Commerce is far better than Pakistan’s. So, one can easily say that the Pakistan E-Commerce industry has great potential.

Pakistan’s E-Commerce industry was born with revolutionary initiatives taken by Beliscity back in 2001.  However, many players entered into the market at a later stage like Symbios, Sophie, HomeShoping, and Furthermore, rapid growth in cellular users attracted international players. So, many international giants like Daraz, Foodpanda, OLX, and Uber started their operations in Pakistan.

As per one survey, there are more than 165 million mobile users in Pakistan. Furthermore, there are more than 75 million 3G and 4G network users in Pakistan. These users play a vital role in the E-Commerce industry in Pakistan. So, because of these stats, telecommunication networks are the primary stakeholders and key players in removing the hurdles and solving the problem of E-Commerce in Pakistan.

It is worth mentioning that one of the major hurdles in the online purchase is the payment method. Because only a small portion of the population has bank accounts. In addition to this only a small ratio of account, holders have access to debit or credit cards. So, collectively it is a challenge for Pakistani citizens to make the online payment. As per the World Bank report, only 245 persons out of every 1000 people have a bank account. Even a lesser number of people have a credit or debit card facility.

So, this was the reason that initiatives by the telecom companies helped the E-Commerce industry of Pakistan. Online banking services by the famous telecom companies like JazzCash, EasyPaisa, and U-paisa helped a lot and improved E-Commerce in Pakistan. So, now people can make payments through these services without having any bank account. \

However, there is a large list of issues and problems for the E-Commerce industry of Pakistan. But still, we can hope that Pakistan’s E-Commerce industry will flourish and make progress in the future. So, if all stakeholders work together and strive for improvement, we can easily cross $1 Billion in 2020.

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