PayFast — the indigenous payments solution by APPS (Avanza Premier Payment Services) — is now the first payment gateway in the country to receive a commercial license from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) under its rules for the Payment System Operators/Providers (PSO/PSP).

APPS is approved for pilot operations by the SBP, and it empowers the multi-instrument acceptance of Scheme Cards, Mobile Wallets, and Bank Account Numbers through its payment gateway PayFast.

PayFast enables merchants, billers, and aggregators to receive payments from their customers through a variety of methods like bank accounts, wallets, and domestic and international payment schemes.

The gateway operates with state-of-the-art security, thereby mitigating risks for its customers through PCI-DSS certification and a data-driven fraud monitoring system.

PayFast addresses merchant pain points while accepting orders online, which has seen a striking escalation since the pandemic. The number of e-commerce merchants registered with banks has increased from 1,400 to almost 2,500 in a year, contributing to Pakistan’s exponential growth in e-commerce, which is poised to cross $3 billion by the end of 2021.

This growth can also be attributed to increasing connectivity and internet access, allowing businesses to thrive online. The number of3G/4G subscribers has jumped to 100 million.

Therefore, PayFast enhances the acceptability of payments for these merchants by offering a diverse range of instruments at competitive fees.

The CEO of APPS, Adnan Ali, said in a statement, “APPS was founded with the primary aim to revolutionize the digital payments services in Pakistan and expand as a regional fintech player. We are thankful to the State Bank for continuing to support us and creating a space for Fintechs, and especially the Payment Systems Department”.

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The Chairman of the Board for APPS, Arshad Raza, said in a statement, “When we invested in this startup envisioned by Avanza Solutions, we always believed that Pakistan’s payments market would be immensely lucrative and would see an unmitigated performance in the coming years”.

He added, “This commercial license is a testament to that vision. It is with great pride that we celebrate this day as part of the revolution in transforming Pakistan into a cashless society”.

There are eleven other Authorized Payment System Operators (PSOs) and Payment Service Providers (PSPs) under the Rules for PSOs and PSP, currently operational in Pakistan, according to the SBP data. Their details can be found here.