During a cheque distribution ceremony among the beneficiaries of the Prime Minister’s Youth Business and Agriculture Loan Scheme (PMYB&ALS), Shehbaz Sharif, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, introduced the BOP Freelancer Segment and freelance Credit Card for Pakistani freelancers, with Zafar Masud, the President and CEO of BOP, and other senior officials in attendance. This initiative aims to improve financial access for freelancers by addressing their transactional, lending, and payment-related needs, and also to increase the country’s potential to attract foreign exchange.
According to the CEO, there are approximately 3 million freelancers in Pakistan who contributed $400 million to the total IT export remittances of $2.616 billion during FY 2022, and their potential is worth billions of dollars. With the Freelancer Segment & Credit Card initiative, BOP intends to unlock this potential and support the economy. Under this scheme, freelancers and IT professionals can open Freelancer Digital Accounts in both PKR and USD, which will help to raise foreign remittances and enable enhanced credit and debit limits of up to $5,000 per month and $30,000 per year.
The BOP Freelancer Segment and Credit Card initiative is a significant development for the freelancing community in Pakistan, which has been growing rapidly in recent years. According to a report by the Pakistan Software Export Board, the country’s IT industry has been growing at a rate of 15-20% annually, with freelancing being a significant contributor to this growth.
However, freelancers have faced various challenges related to accessing financial services, such as getting loans, opening bank accounts, and receiving payments from international clients. The BOP Freelancer Segment and Credit Card aim to address these challenges and provide a convenient and secure way for freelancers to manage their finances.
The credit card offers several features that are specifically designed for freelancers’ business idea such as higher credit limits, transaction monitoring, and flexible repayment options. Freelancers can also use the Freelancer Digital Account to receive and manage payments from international clients, which can help to simplify the payment process and reduce transaction costs.
Moreover, this initiative can help to increase the country’s potential to attract foreign exchange, as freelancers are a significant source of foreign earnings. By offering a dedicated financial service for freelancers, the BOP Freelancer Segment and Credit Card can encourage more people to enter the freelancing industry and contribute to the growth of the IT sector in Pakistan.