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SBP allows transfer of up to $200,000 as payment for foreign digital services

SBP allows transfer of up to $200,000 as payment for foreign digital services

KARACHI: State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has allowed banks to release a maximum amount of $200,000 per year as payment for digital services provided by foreign companies.

The central bank on Thursday issued a new mechanism for payments to globally recognized digital service provider companies against acquisition of digital services by local companies for ease of doing business in the country.

The SBP amended Foreign Exchange Manual and allowed general permission to banks to release foreign exchange up to a maximum of USD 200,000/-, or equivalent in other currencies, per year, for each company/ firm/ sole proprietorship incorporated/ established in Pakistan on account of commercial payments, pertaining to digital services, in favor of digital service provider companies.

The release of payment is limited to foreign companies listed by the SBP, which are included:

  1. Adobe
  2. Affinity
  3. Airtable
  4. Alibaba Group
  5. Amazon
  6. Apple
  7. AppLovin
  8. Asana
  9. Atlassian
  10. Box
  11. Calendly
  12. Coursera
  13. Digital Ocean
  14. DocSend
  15. DocuSign
  16. Dropbox
  17. Expensify
  18. Facebook
  19. Figma
  20. FreshBooks
  21. Front
  22. GoDaddy
  23. Google
  24. Hootsuite
  25. Hubspot
  26. IBM
  27. Instagram
  28. Intercom
  29. InVision
  30. LinkedIn Corporation
  31. Mailchimp
  32. Marketo
  33. Mendix
  34. Microsoft Corporation
  35. Optimizely
  36. Oracle Corporation
  37. Pilot
  38. Pipe Drive
  39. Poynt
  40. Intuit/ QuickBooks
  41. Red Hat/ OpenShift
  42. Sketch
  43. Salesforce
  44. SAP SE / SAP
  45. SEMrush
  46. Shopify
  47. Slack Technologies/Slack
  48. Squarespace
  49. Tencent
  50. Trello
  51. Twilio
  52. Twitter
  53. Udacity
  54. Udemy
  55. VMware
  56. WhatsApp
  57. WordPress
  58. Xero
  59. YouTube
  60. Zapier
  61. Zendesk
  62. Zoom/ Video Communications

The SBP said that the ultimate beneficiary of remittances should only be the company (including their affiliates or associated entities).

However, up to a maximum amount of USD 25,000/-, out of the total annual limit of USD 200,000/-, can be remitted to those digital service provider companies which are not listed in the Appendix V 147, against acquisition of digital services.

The remittances should only be made by an Authorized Dealer designated by the remitter for this purpose under acknowledgement to Foreign Exchange Operations Department (FEOD) SBP-BSC. No Authorized dealer will remit funds under this general permission unless it has been acknowledged as designated Authorized Dealer by the FEOD SBP-BSC.

The SBP said that the banks will ensure that it has satisfied itself with the genuineness and bonafides of the applicant, through appropriate CDD and customer risk profiling, specifically in light of AML/CFT regulations.