Mobile users won’t be able to get Google Play Store Paid services from 1st December 2022 as the State Bank of Pakistan blocked the payment of $34 million to international service providers.
The payment of $34 million annually to overseas service providers like Google, Amazon, and Meta through mobile firms became stalled after the central bank stopped using the direct carrier billing (DCB) mechanism.
Users in Pakistan will now be forced to download Google and other foreign apps in order to make purchases using credit cards or debit cards exclusively. However, because the credit card option is only available to a certain number of consumers, the majority of mobile users might not be able to download programs from the Google Play Store.
Earlier, the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA) and the Ministry of Information Technology and Telecommunication, and four cellular mobile operators (CMOs) unanimously wrote a joint letter to the SBP asking it to reconsider its decision to revoke the DCB mechanism for payment of the dollar fee in light of the country’s current liquidity crisis.
According to the sources, Only Paid Google Playstore services like app downloads won’t be available. They informed the appropriate authorities that a $34 million payment was past due and that, if it was not paid, their services for Google App Store downloads would cease to be offered.
“It is pertinent to mention here that we all understand the prevailing challenge of worsening economic conditions of the country and thus are open to working in an amicable way with the Regulator (SBP); as we are already working with them in case of the telecom sector imports related transactions to navigate through these testing times,” said the letter sent by the telcos to the SBP.
Tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Meta are being impacted by non-payments from Pakistan, which owes $34 million to international service providers, and might be moved to discontinue their services altogether.