State of the Online economy in Pakistan and e-commerce?

Hi everyone,

What is the state of the online economy in Pakistan?

Pakistan has over 20 million internet users...12% penetration of the population, which is better than India perecentage wise. Internet growth is rapid.

Lots of online shops are springing up all around the place...But is anybody really buying online?

How do people pay? What are the payment mechanisms?

Credit cards will probably never become popular in Pakistan, due to the local aversion to debt and qarza. Which is a good thing.

But how will people pay for shopping online? Any ideas/brainstorming?

Mobile usage is still based around 2nd generation phones, with no 3G internet or smartphone usage. Anybody using iPhone or Android apps from the Android market? Do smartphone connections on 3G even exist?

-Online economy in Pakistan is far far behind from US or British economy. Here, people due to low literacy rate and lack of awareness prefer buying from shops instead of buying online. Online fraud is common in Pakistan. Here, online sellers sell faulty products, loot people and then bring defame to this business. As a result, people prefer to buy from local shops instead of buying over internet. But if they buy online, they prefer to buy from famous foreign eShops like amazon, ebay etc.

-This is a truth, internet penetration is more in Pakistan than India. But unfortunately, quality of Internet Services is lower as compared to India. The reason can be extreme load shedding, poor economy, and massive corruption.

-Buying from online shops is more common in western societies as compared to India and Pakistan. In Europe, the eBusiness has grown so much, people order hot pizzas over internet while sitting inside their homes.

-There are different methods of payment online. VIsa Debit and Credit cards, Master Debit and Credit cards, Paypal etc.

-Unfortunately, the whole world's banking system is based upon Interest where loans are given in different forms and then profit is earned in the form of Interest. Credit card is one of its form where holder of card buys on credit and then later pays the money back to bank among with specified percentage of Interest. But in case of Debit card, one can do a finite shopping depending upon the amount of money he has in his bank account. This second form of shopping with Debit cards is much safer than shopping with Credit cards.

-Still, we lack 3G cellular network. Lack of 3G network has not let the people's emotions down and they still buy iPhones, smartphones with android and etc in large quantity.