After December 1, users in Pakistan won’t be able to use Google Play Store services since the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has discontinued the direct carrier billing (DCB) mechanism.
Customers will still be able to download free apps but payments for paid apps and in-app purchases will be forced through credit cards or debit cards only. But the credit card facility is limited to a certain number of customers in Pakistan so most users may be deprived of downloading apps from the Google Play Store.
Since the action may cause problems for customers, the Telecom ministry, PTA, and cellular service providers have approached the SBP to request that the decision be annulled.
In their letter to the SBP, the telcos stated, “It is pertinent to mention here that we all understand the current challenge of the worsening economic conditions of the country and are open to working amicably 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.”
Due to Pakistan’s failure to make payments—the government owes $34 million to international service providers—tech giants like Google, Amazon, and Meta may be compelled to cease offering their services altogether.