Online shopping in Pakistan has witnessed unprecedented growth during lockdowns. These E-commerce stores had been yearning for success for decades. Now it happened just in few months.
In 2017, an Inc magazine article predicted that soon cash would become obsolete. But in some parts of the world, this prediction is not valid.
Tech experts in advanced countries have developed such applications that enable users to transfer money to their friends and family members. They can instantly pay rents and bills through these applications.
There are services like Apple Pay in modern countries. People purchase from stores without credit cards using such services.
And now such applications are coming to less-developed countries like Pakistan, too. At present, the most popular payment method in Pakistan is still cash payment.
In Pakistan, the E-commerce business has also started growing at a much faster ratio after the pandemic. The pandemic has introduced a new normal in the world, and Pakistan is no exception after all.
This new normal has left a very positive impact on the growth of digital payments. People who do online shopping in Pakistan have started opting for digital payments now. Presently, this option is still not as popular and widely accepted as it is in the developed world.
During lockdowns, people have to remain inside their homes all around the world. And online shopping is the only feasible option for people.
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People have started purchasing all daily-use items, groceries, fresh food, clothing, accessories, and electronics from online shopping websites.
This unprecedented growth was not only in Pakistan. Even Amazon witnessed it. The CEO of Amazon had an increase of twenty-four Billion dollars in his wealth. The online sales of Walmart also increased by 74 percent in the first quarter alone.
But the Pakistani market is diverse. Attempts to bring customers online have not always produced results. The behavior of the buyer has not evolved much in the past. Who would have considered that a pandemic would make an assorted customer base — including all sorts of individuals, from youngsters who have been anticipating this for years to older people who deeply scruple the internet — turn to online shopping overnight?
Digital Payments Against Online Shopping In Pakistan
Big names in the E-commerce industry of Pakistan claim that they have witnessed a significant increase in online shopping and digital payments after the outbreak.
This outbreak increased the sales figures of fruits, vegetables, sanitizers, liquid hand washers, indoor games, and gym equipment.
Pakistani online retailers have flourished. App-based food delivery services introduced contactless deliveries during lockdowns.
The digital payments acceptance level is increasing even among senior members of society during the lockdown. Now people are discussing if these trends will continue once strict lockdowns come to an end.
The mistrust of e-commerce is reducing over time. More people are now opting for digital payments when they do online shopping in Pakistan.
Banks Are Becoming Solution Providers For Digital Payment Difficulties
Banks in Pakistan are well aware of the fears and difficulties of people regarding digital payments. They are continuously trying to provide solutions and facilities to their customers. Banks are trying their maximum to secure the data of their customers.
Banks now send one-time pins (OTP) to their customers to make online shopping transactions secure. In this way, they ensure that the debit cards of their customers are not misused.
Investment professionals say that to make digital payments more popular banks must make their system and digital transactions user-friendly, secure and smoother. Debit cards must work well across all websites. Mobile wallets need to penetrate more in the market.
At the same time, brands must become more trustworthy. In this way, people will feel comfortable. They will feel comfortable paying them before having the product in their hands.
Digital payments are beneficial for both the purchaser and the seller. The seller gets the full payment before the product is forwarded. The customer does not have to bother about being home to pay or keep cash in hand for the delivery.
Mobile Wallets And E-commerce In Pakistan
Services like EasyPaisa and Jazz Cash have also helped in the growth of digital payments. During the lockdown, such services have also expanded. The number of transactions has increased massively.
It appears that some consumers who started shopping for groceries online due to the pandemic are now recognizing the convenience connected with it.
What makes mobile wallets like EasyPaisa and Jazz Cash more thriving and widespread in Pakistan is the comfort of use. Opening a mobile wallet is manageable, as is topping it up through a retailer or a debit card.
The Future Of Digital Payments And Online Shopping In Pakistan
Digital payments can boost the economy. Online shopping in Pakistan is already contributing to the economy of the country.
We are hopeful that soon international players such as PayPal and Amazon will also enter the Pakistani market.
As per the World Bank, Pakistan has a potential of around 36 billion in the digital financial market. Keeping such high potential in mind both banks and online shopping stores in Pakistan must focus more on the development of digital payments.
According to a study, exactly in sixty-six days, any new behavior becomes automatic. Keeping it in mind when we see the duration of lockdowns, we may hope that the future of digital payments in Pakistan is bright.
Author: Abdul Kareem