The tech industry in Pakistan has witnessed a transformative development, as freelancers in the country can now seamlessly receive international payments through the integration of Apple Pay and Google Pay by the financial technology startup, Sadapay. This innovative step addresses a long-standing issue faced by Pakistani gig workers who offer their services to foreign clients through platforms like Fiverr and Upwork. It’s crucial to note that this integration represents an initial move, not a full-fledged launch of these platforms in Pakistan.
Revolutionizing Payment Methods
Apple Pay and Google Pay, introduced by Apple and Google, respectively, have revolutionized payment systems, allowing users to make both in-person and online transactions, provided they own Apple or Android devices, respectively. In Pakistan, these platforms are initially enabled for online transactions through Sadapay, marking a significant advancement for gig workers in the country.
The Freelancer Equation
The freelancing market in Pakistan is more extensive and dynamic than one might expect. Many young professionals, lured by the flexibility and the opportunity to earn in foreign currencies, have transitioned from traditional 9-5 jobs to self-employment. Platforms like Upwork and Fiverr have become their gateways to connect with international clients, taking advantage of Pakistan’s affordable skilled labor. Freelancers in Pakistan collectively earned approximately $400 million in both 2021 and 2022, constituting about 15% of Pakistan’s total $2.6 billion in ICT (Information-Communication-Technology) exports. Pakistan ranks fourth globally in the digital gig marketplace, with around 8% of the total freelance work in 2017, and this impressive standing is attributed to the increasing number of qualified graduates who have embraced freelancing.
The Payment Predicament
However, the primary challenge for these freelancers has been receiving payments. Pakistani banks have made it cumbersome to receive foreign exchange payments, and PayPal is not available in Pakistan. With Apple Pay and Google Pay boasting a combined user base of 650 million people worldwide, these platforms offer a much-needed alternative for freelancers. Apple Pay, in particular, stands out with a user base four times larger than PayPal, providing freelancers in Pakistan access to a potential client base of 700 million people globally.
To facilitate this, Sadapay has introduced Sadabizz, a platform designed for businesses, enabling freelancers to create business accounts on Sadapay and receive payments through Apple Pay and Google Pay. They can send payment requests through Sadapay, streamlining the payment process for clients and freelancers alike.
A Game-Changer for Freelancers
This development is a game-changer for freelancers in Pakistan. It simplifies the process of receiving payments from international clients, eliminating the need for traditional payment platforms. It also aligns with Sadapay’s strategic goal of targeting this lucrative niche market.
Sadapay Business accounts come with higher account limits than regular Sadapay accounts, which have a monthly receivable cap of Rs 4 lakhs. This was announced by Brandon Timinsky, SadaPay’s Founder and CEO, at the SadaSummit held at COLABS Lahore. The event focused on mastering freelancing in Pakistan, a concept that has gained widespread popularity in recent years.
Boosting the Freelance Culture
The move by Sadapay appears to be a dedicated effort to promote the freelance culture in Pakistan. To further support freelancers, Sadapay has launched SadaSchool, an online platform offering masterclasses to enhance their portfolios. Waqas Hassan, CEO of SadaSchool, spoke about the vision behind the program, aiming to establish a robust ecosystem tailored for freelancers within Pakistan. Inspired by Singapore’s transformation into an entrepreneurial economy in 2011, SadaSchool is determined to foster a vibrant community of freelancers in the region. With the increasing prevalence of remote work, freelancers play a pivotal role in Pakistan’s economy, making their growth and support a priority.
Brandon emphasized that SadaSchool will allow users to take free masterclasses on the platform and receive peer support and mentorship, contributing not only to nurturing freelancers but also expanding the SadaSchool ecosystem, significantly contributing to Pakistan’s economic growth.
A Bright Future for Pakistani Freelancers
In conclusion, the integration of Apple Pay and Google Pay through Sadapay marks a significant leap forward for freelancers in Pakistan. It not only streamlines the receipt of international payments but also offers potential access to a vast global clientele. This development is poised to promote the freelance culture in Pakistan and contribute to the country’s economic growth.
- How can freelancers in Pakistan receive payments through Apple Pay and Google Pay? Freelancers can set up business accounts on Sadapay, enabling them to receive payments from international clients through Apple Pay and Google Pay.
- How does Sadapay support the freelance community in Pakistan? Sadapay not only facilitates payments but also offers educational resources through SadaSchool, helping freelancers enhance their skills.
- What is the potential impact of this integration on Pakistan’s economy? The integration of Apple Pay and Google Pay through Sadapay is expected to contribute to the growth of the freelance sector and, subsequently, Pakistan’s economy.
- Is Sadapay planning to expand its services further for freelancers? Yes, Sadapay is committed to nurturing and supporting freelancers and aims to expand its ecosystem to benefit Pakistan’s economy.