Paid apps for Pakistani carriers are suspended by Google

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Paid apps for Pakistani carriers are suspended by Google
Paid apps for Pakistani carriers are suspended by Google

Google has suspended carrier-paid apps in Pakistan on non-payment of outstanding dues, despite repeated assurances from the Ministry of IT and Telecom regarding the issue.

It has been confirmed by our channel checks that the option to download paid apps on mobile devices has been suspended in the country. This is because it is no longer possible. The Google Play Store still accepts credit card payments when downloading a paid app from the Google Play Store even though the suspension pertains to local transactions only.

This is the follow-up to the drama last week when the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) blocked payments of $34 million made to international service providers. It is apparent that the blockage/confusion created a feeling of chaos in the local tech community. This is due to thousands of people being unable to use their mobile balances to download paid applications from the Google Play Store.

The central bank halted the direct carrier billing (DCB) mechanism at the time, which led to the stalling of payments through mobile companies to international service providers such as Google, Amazon, and Meta, which were once possible to process through mobile companies.

Due to the country’s economic challenges of late, the government decided to open a month-long period for Google transactions in addition to devising a framework for an effective payment mechanism in order to be able to avoid any liquidity shortfalls in the future. Google has suspended the issue of carrier-paid apps in Pakistan due to payment obstacles. With no official policy or mechanism in place to resolve the issue, it is awaiting the government’s response before it can resume the service.

Paid apps for Pakistani carriers are suspended by Google

There has been a decision made by the Ministry of Finance to accept a proposal put forward by the Minister of Information Technology, Syed Amin Ul Haque. This is related to the development of an efficient mechanism for making payments for Google Apps services. It was announced at the time that the SBP had been instructed to delay the implementation of the DCB mechanism policy by one month. This was because it had been delayed for one month by the minister.

The Minister of IT, the Ministry of Finance, and the State Bank have been asked to form a plan of action in mutual consultation within a month. This is necessary for telecom operators to implement payment procedures. He added that the telecom operators had been given one month to implement these procedures. According to Amin, a letter was written to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on the request of the telecom operators for assistance. In that letter, Dar requested that payments be made and that a timetable be established.

Must Read: Google Play Store is not going away in Pakistan after December 1st.

There was also gratitude expressed by Aamir Ibrahim, CEO of Jazz, for the timely decision on the issue that was made by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, as well as Information Technology Minister Amin Ul Haque.

We are pleased to see the DCB issue moving towards a resolution and are hopeful it will be resolved soon. Please accept my sincere thanks to Syed Amin Ul Haque, Ishaq Dar, and SAPM Finance Tariq Bajwa. These individuals took the initiative to ensure that Pakistani users can continue to access the Google Play app store. To strengthen the digital ecosystem, it is essential that a whole-of-government approach be adopted,” he tweeted on Thursday.

If you’re not familiar with DCB, it’s an online mobile payment system that enables users to make payments via the phone carrier bill of their mobile phone. There was a time when telcos allowed their customers to purchase these products with airtime, then send money overseas, thus registering such transactions as payments for IT-related services, which they usually considered payments for airtime. This practice has now dried up.

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