Why Payoneer Blocked Pakistan – The Truth

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Like every other Payoneer user from Pakistan I became insane after reading support email. However after coming to senses I had done some research about why Payoneer blocked Pakistan. Many readers left comments on earlier post about Payoneer ban for doing protest to Payoneer.

Friends you do not need to protest Payoneer, don’t even have to blame them and they can’t help us in this situation. They have to follow policies of US regularity authorities and its what they are doing.

Reason for this ban is Pakistani law makers.  On March 26th, 2010 Pakistan’s Anti-Money Laundering ordinance of 2008 has expired. So right now Pakistan is a lawless country without any anti-money laundering and anti-terrorist funding laws. Due to that Asia Pacific Group on Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has put Pakistan in category III of risk countries for financial transactions.

Due to absence of proper anti-money laundering laws in Pakistan US government issued new regulations for its financial institutions. This is why Payoneer has included Pakistan in banned countries.

This is a negligence at end of Pakistani law makers who failed to renew the existing ordinance or approve the new anti-money laundering bill which is already approved by national assembly. According to a story published in TheNews Pakistani senate had a meeting on March 18th in which this law was put forward but the senate “had some other important affairs” to deal with so this  law discussion was moved forward to future senate meeting.

Chairman Senate Standing Committee on Finance Senator Ahmed Ali said the committee under his chairmanship approved the bill in great haste with conditions that this bill would be tabled again within one year as the committee wanted to bring certain improvements in it. However, he deplored that their hard work could not bring the desired fruit as the Senate was prorogued without passing such an important bill.

“Despite our hectic work, the Senate did not pass this bill,” he said and concluded that there was still sufficient time available till March 26 and the government should summon the session of upper house on immediate basis in order to pass this bill in the supreme national interest.

No one is our enemy, not Payoneer, not even US government but our own government and law makers. Right now Pakistan officially do not have any anti-money laundering laws. Kudos!

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31 Comments

  • Muhammad Naveed Khan says:

    Brother, I agree with you..
    Its just one Point that funds will be blocked, No Problem with the funds, I don’t care…

    But Just imagine what Other Nationals will be thinking of Pakistan when they received an email that

    Payoneer cards will be blocked for transactions in PAKISTAN

    WHAT A SHAME….

    Thats why I asked for the Protest. But on the other hand things are Different. Out Top Political Brass don’t care for anything, I think that we are erroneous because of which our top brass is corrupt.

  • Aqeel Syed says:

    @Naveed Khan

    I agree with you, this situation is gloomy 🙁 and shameful and off-course everyone else (specially our neighbors) would have a smile at their faces after knowing this.

    But we should not blame Payoneer for this. If we can protest, we should protest against our law makers. If they fix the situation (by approving new anti-money laundering law), Payoneer will be very happy to do business with Pakistanis.

  • romail says:

    what the f***k is this? Payoneer was the only effective method used to trasact money in Pakistan and these dumb law makers vanished Payoneer too from Pakistan. We have to get it back on any condition. Please guys do something.

  • Ali says:

    I still love Payoneer, the main problem is in our own so called democratic setup. Let’s hope the situation will be normal again, meanwhile, we can use Moneybookers as it is a European company so hopefully it will not block Pakistan.

  • Kaleem says:

    A major misconception is, Root cause of everything is corruption. In my opinion, Bad Governance, Corruption and Incapability trio sums it up for Pakistan.

    Congrats for 18th amendment atleast , that’s law now 🙂

  • Asad says:

    I feel ashamed sometimes that I am a Pakistani… no law, no rules. stick and bull is the f..ing rule here.

    no one in the idiots politicians care about the citizens of Pakistan. Only need to store their own banks with money.

    Pakistan is in the top 5 countries providing outsourcing IT services and projects to the US for the last several years. All customers and our online Merchant accounts are paying us thru Payoneer which was a good module to use to get our funds. And we have all lost this way of getting paid because of our bull……t government.

  • Ali Ahmed says:

    I am really shocked to get that mail, This will going to demolish my whole freelance career.

    Paypal already do not accept us, so what are we going to do without Payoneer.

    Please guys, let me know, if there is anything that we can do to stop payoneer by doing so.

    I have mailed them with a request for not to do so, I don’t think it will going to work.

    But i am really very desparate.

    Please guys, do somthing or at least mail them, for asking them not to do it.

    I have researched a lot already, but still if anybody knows an alternate just like payoneer to receive money from
    -rentacoder.com
    -freelancer.com
    -scriptlance.com
    -odesk.com
    Please let me know

    If there is anything to send an application to that concerned department to pass that law or whatever, Please mention it here, so that we all can at least do something other than just posting comments.

    I think that there can be 1000 to 10,000 members in Pakistan.

    So, it is my request to all to please mail a request to payoneer support at least Or please mention anything better, we all can do other than just posting comments.

  • Ahmad Wali says:

    I wish this governement leave soon, so many problems because of them day by day.

  • freelancer says:

    i am freelancer and doing data entry and graphics works & using payoneer to withdraw my all funds like scriptlance, elance, getafreelancer, rentacoder, this is very sad news to hear that payoneer will not work in pakistan, i am professional online worker and linked my 1 card to all advertisers as a publisher accounts like text link ads, infolinks, smowtion, reviewme etc.

    This is due to no anti money landring law in pakistan so thats why usa law blocked few countries, this is realy shamefull for pakistan peoples party Govt due to their bad bad bad & rudeless polices, i am already unemployed person and start my carrier as a freelancer & online worker now i will unemployed again due to blocked of payoneer in Pakistan.

    i also got the Payoneer Virtual Usa Bank account but to shamefull Paki Govt efforts destroyed my all carrier, even i applied 50 plus govt jobs but they are not giving jobs on merit bases (even i can show my proofs i am on merit) & already paypal is not working in pakistan & another disaster came to pakistan, now i just try moneybookers hope it will work, thanks

  • Ahmad Wali says:

    Please also read this article that bill is approved but we are still in category III.

    http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=231094

  • Mohammad Asif Saeed says:

    Dear Friends,

    I am also from Pakistan and working on ODESK since 3 years, no doubt that is very bad news but we have alternative. I just let them my friends that it is not the end we can protest aginst that but we need a way to withdraw our money from odesk.

    Here what you should do in the mean while:
    1- Open a back account with Standard Chartered or any other bank I have account in MCB. (the bank/branch should have swift code).
    2-Register yourself at http://www.moneybookers.com (provide your odesk email for withdrawals)
    3-Add Bank account details in your “My Account” section of back detail.
    4-Request the ODESK to transfer your money to moneybookers and from moneybookers you can send a request to transfer money from moneybookers to your bank account.

    I am already using that, if any one have any question please feel free to contact me at [email protected]

    I am with all of you to protest against that.
    Regards,
    Mohammad Asif

  • Well, I have give a suggestion to Odesk. Look Freelancers can try and search and give there suggestions to Odesk Team, I hope they will help.
    My suggestion was this
    http://www.odesk.com/community/node/11242
    If you guys have any suggestion post it here, which may help them and us..

  • Nasir Hayat says:

    Guys we should protest and rise our voice. Our neighbor Indian, Their IT industry is growing day by bay where due to Pakistani Government and policies, we are losing our current status. Payoneer was only reliable services in Pakistan if they stop their service in Pakistan, I thinks future of freelancing will be dark.

  • Elance says:

    Hello, I am also sad as you guys. Now we need to find other ways that can help us to receive money here and i think moneybooker is best.
    I have requested Elance to add moneybookers there, I have posted this http://www.elance.com/p/node/9658#comment-67271 so please all elance users come and comment there.

    Thanks

  • sumair says:

    again now payoneer that was the only hope for my income. they ruined it.
    you cant dare to raise your voice in pakistan. pakistan is in the hands of land mafia’s and the situation is going to get worst day by day.nobody will listen to you here and there is no point in demonstration. people who dare to protest for electricty and common issues are man handed and tortured by police.we need vandetta now who can take these assholes and kill them all so people could get justice. i am born here but i hate this country an will do until i die.

  • Ali says:

    This is the reply I have got from Payoneer top management.

    ——-
    Hi Ali,

    As of June 1, 2010 Payoneer was required by US regulators to stop transactions to Pakistan.

    We fully understand the problem this will cause to our cardholders and we are trying to find a solution.

    The solution might include additional verification checks to demonstrate to regulators that Pakistanis cardholders can indeed use Payoneer cards..

    We will update you as soon as possible. Please know that we, at Payoneer, are doing all we can to find a solution.

    As for your final question, your card will work outside Pakistan as usual, so it shouldn’t be a problem.

    Thanks

    –Tomer

    ———————————–

    So there you have it guys there is finally Hope for us all!!!

  • zulfiqar says:

    ALL MUSLIMS FRIENDS IN FUTURE WHEN YOU GET MONEY FROM PAYONEER FIRST DEDUCT ZAKAT INSHILLAH YOU WILL GET RESULT DONT WORRY GOD IS GREATMUHAMMAD ZULFIQAR

  • zulfiqar says:

    Country risks facing financial penalties

    Staff Report

    ISLAMABAD: Country is facing risks financial penalties and difficulties in the form of dishounoring of its Letter of Credits by the developed countries because of unnecessary delay in the parliamentary approval to anti-money laundering and combating terrorism financing bill.

    Regarding the matter, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had told the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance on October 27, 2009 that Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, which is an associate member of the Financial Action Task Force, had issued a final ultimatum to Pakistan to upgrade its existing anti-money laundering laws before February 2010 as per international standards. In case of failure, Pakistan will have to face severe financial penalties from international organizations and Pakistan would be declared a high-risk country.

    As a result, the country’s letter of credit (LC) would not be honored abroad and there would be difficulties for the country in international trade. Despite warnings by the Asia Pacific Group on Money Laundering, which is an associate member of the Financial Action Task Force, the current government had not been able to upgrade and get parliamentary approval of its anti-money laundry bill from both houses national Assembly and Senate of Pakistan before the meeting of Financial Action Task Force.

    The Financial Action Task Force (FATF) has “identified eight countries that have strategic… deficiencies in alleged money laundering and terrorism financing”. The FATF, an inter-governmental body aimed at countering illegal financial transactions that could be used to promote terrorism, has named Angola, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Iran, North Korea, Pakistan, Sao Tome and Principe, and Turkmenistan.

    Ministry of Finance (MOF) in a reaction to the decision of the FATF announced here on Saturday that government of Pakistan would react to the action against Pakistan taken by Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Anti-Money Laundering soon.

    “Financial Action Task Force (FATF) on Anti-Money Laundering a day earlier had black listed eight countries including Pakistan due to their failure to upgrade and get formal parliamentary approval of their anti-money laundering legislation according to United Nation’s instrument.”

    Spokesman of the Ministry of Finance said in a statement the Government of Pakistan is expected to take a position next week on the statement of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF), which included Pakistan amongst the countries found to have strategic deficiencies in countering money laundering and terrorism financing.

    A team of GOP officials, currently attending the meetings of FATF in Abu Dhabi, would be back in the country on Monday February 22, 2010. A response would be prepared after necessary debriefing by the visiting team, the statement added.

    It May, however, the GOP had introduced the Anti-Money Laundering Bill 2010, which has already been passed by the National Assembly. The Bill also stands introduced in the Senate on February 18, 2010. The Senate Standing Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs & Statistics is likely to take up consideration of the Anti-Money Laundering Bill, 2010 very shortly, the MOF statement concluded.

    According to the official sources, Government of Pakistan was required to submit up-graded Anti-Money laundering and Combating Terrorism Financing Act before the Financial Action Task Force in its meeting held at Abu Dhabi, which should have been formally approved from the parliament. However, due to non-completion of parliamentary approval Pakistan’s official delegation was unable to convince the Financial Action Task Force and resultantly Pakistan including other eight countries was black listed due to this failure.

    Pakistan was a signatory to various UN conventions that required laws in line with international standards to combat money laundering and terrorism financing.

    The existing Anti-Money Laundering Ordinance, 2007, which was passed by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Finance, expired on November 28 and President of Pakistan had to re-promulgate it for further 4 months so that its formal approval could be obtained from both houses of the parliament. However, during this month National Assembly has passed the Anti-Money Laundering Bill. However, An

  • zulfiqar says:

    DONT WORRY GOD IS GREAT PAYONEER AFTER VERITICATION RE OPEN THE CARDS
    ZULFIQAR

  • zulfiqar says:

    Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam. It has been mentioned, along with daily Prayers (Salaat / Namaz), over seventy times in the Quran. Allah’s word commanding “…..and establish regular Salaat and give regular Zakat…..” are referred to in many parts of the Quran. From this we can conclude that after Salaat, Zakat is the most important act in Islam.
    Just as Salaat is the most important act of worship which has to be performed bodily, so is Zakat the main act of worship which has to be performed monetarily. Those who fulfill this duty have been promised abundant reward in this world and hereafter. Whoever evades Zakat has been sternly warned in the Qur’an and Hadith of the consequences.
    Linguistically, Zakat has two meanings: purification and growth. Technically, it means to purify one’s possession of wealth by distributing a prescribed amount to the poor, the indigent, the slaves or captives, and the wayfarer.
    There are many major benefits of giving Zakat:

    * It reminds Muslims of the fact that whatever wealth they may possess is due to the blessings of Allah and as such it is to be spent according to the His commands.
    * Zakat functions as a social security for all. Those who have enough money today pay for what they have. If they need money tomorrow they will get what is necessary to help them live decently.
    * Zakat payer pays his dues to Allah as an act of worship, a token of submission and an acknowledgment of gratitude. The receiver of Zakat receives it as a grant from Allah out of His bounty, a favor for which he is thankful to Allah.
    * Economically, Zakat is the best check against hoarding. Those who do not invest their wealth but prefer to save or hoard it would see their wealth dwindling year after year at the rate of the payable Zakat. This helps increase production and stimulates supply because it is a redistribution of income that enhances the demand by putting more real purchasing power in the hands of poor.

    Zakat is obligatory upon a person if :

    * He or she is an adult, sane, free and Muslim.
    * He/she must possess wealth in excess of specified minimum (Nisaab) excluding his or her personal needs (clothing, household furniture, utensils, cars etc. are termed article of personal needs).
    * It should be possessed for a complete lunar year.
    * It should be of productive nature from which one can derive profit or benefit such as merchandise for business, gold, silver, livestock etc.

    The amount of wealth which makes one liable for Zakat is called Nisaab. The Nisaab as fixed by Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is as follows:
    Grams Tolas Grains Troy Oz.
    GOLD 87.48 7.50 1350 2.8125
    SILVER 612.36 52.50 9450 19.6875
    Nisaab of cash, stock or bonds, other cash assets is the equivalent amount of Gold or Silver. Nisaab is calculated by adding up the cash value of all the assets such as gold, silver, currency etc. and if it is equal to or in excess of the minimum Nisaab as specified in the above table, the Zakat is due at the rate of 2.5%.
    The payment of Zakat is compulsory on the excess wealth or effects which is equal to or exceeds the value of Nisaab, and which is possessed for a full Islamic year. If such wealth decreases during the course of the year and increases again to the value of Nisaab before the end of the year, the Zakat then must be calculated on the full amount that is possessed at the end of the year.
    TYPES OF WEALTH ON WHICH ZAKAT IS IMPOSED:

    1. Gold and silver, in any form.
    2. Cash, bank notes, stocks, bonds etc.
    3. Merchandise for business, equal to the value of Nisaab.
    4. Live stock.
    5. On income derived from rental business.

    CALCULATION OF ZAKAT:

    1. To calculate Zakat on jewelry etc. one must first determine the gold or silver content and then calculate the Zakat according to current market price.
    2. If the Gold possessed is less than 87.48 grams or if silver possessed is less then 612.36 grams, but the value of both combined is equal to or exceeds the Nisaab of either Gold or Silver, the Zakat will be due.
    3. In the event of an article not being of pure gold or pure silver, but containing a mixture of other metals and the gold or silver content is more than the other metal, it will be regarded as gold or silver and Zakat will be due. But in the case where other metal/s is of greater quantity than either gold or silver, Zakat will not be due on this article.
    4. For stocks (shares held in a company), Zakat is calculated based upon the current market value. As machinery, land, fixtures and fittings, furniture, buildings etc. are exempt from Zakat, one is allowed to subtract these from the total asset. This could be obtained from annual reports. For example, if one has shares worth $1000 and machinery, land etc., are worth 5% of the total asset, then deduct $50 for these assets, afterwards deduct the liabilities of the company proportionately to the percentage of shares held. Zakat must be calculated on the balance.

    DISTRIBUTION OF ZAKAT:

    1. Zakat should be given as soon as possible after it becomes due.
    2. All of the Zakat can be given to one person or to several persons.
    3. A poor man cannot be paid for his work from Zakat nor can Zakat be given in payment of services, except to the people appointed by the Islamic government to collect Zakat.
    4. Zakat will only be valid if the recipient is made the owner of that amount. If, for example, a few needy persons are fed a meal from Zakat money, then Zakat will not be fulfilled as they were not made owners of the food.
    5. Zakat cannot be given for the construction of Masjid, Madrasah, Hospital, a well, a bridge or any other public amenity.
    6. Zakat can be paid in kind from the same merchandise on which it is due, or alternatively, it could be paid in cash.

    TYPES OF WEALTH ON WHICH ZAKAT IS NOT IMPOSED:

    1. On any metals other than gold or silver.
    2. Fixtures and fittings of a shop, car, trucks or any delivery vehicle etc., which is used in running business.
    3. Diamonds, pearls, other precious or semi precious stones which are for personal use.
    4. There is no Zakat on personal residence, household furniture, pots and pan, personal clothing, whether they are in use or not.
    5. There is no Zakat on a person whose liabilities exceed or equal his assets. (Home Mortgage in this country is not to be counted as personal liability for the Zakat purpose).

    RECIPIENTS OF ZAKAT:
    The recipients of Zakat, according to Quran are as follows:
    “Alms are for the poor and the needy, and those employed to administer (the funds); for those whose hearts have been (recently) reconciled (to truth); for those in bondage and in debt; and for the wayfarer: (Thus is it) ordained by Allah, and Allah is full of Knowledge and Wisdom.” (Quran 9:60)

    1. FUQARA: people who are poor and who possess more than their basic needs but do not possess wealth equal to Nisaab.
    2. MASAKEEN: people who are destitute and extremely needy to the extent they are forced to beg for their daily food rations.
    3. AL-AMILEEN: people appointed by an Islamic Government to collect Zakat.
    4. MU-ALLAFATUL-QULUB: persons who have recently accepted Islam and are in need of basic necessities who would benefit from encouragement by Muslims which would help strengthen their faith.
    5. AR-RIQAAB: slaves who are permitted to work for remuneration and have an agreement from their masters to purchase their freedom on payment of fixed amounts.
    6. AL-GHAARIMEEN: persons who have a debt and do not possess any other wealth or goods with which they could repay that which they owe. It is conditional that this debt was not created for any un-Islamic purpose.
    7. FI-SABILILLAH: persons who have to carry out an obligatory deed which has become obligatory on them and subsequently (due to loss of wealth) are unable to complete that obligation.
    8. IBN-US-SABEEL: persons who are travelers and during the course of their journey do not possess basic necessities, though they are well to do at home. They could be given Zakat in order to fulfill travel needs to return home.

    PERSONS WHO CANNOT BE GIVEN ZAKAT:

    1. Zakat cannot be given to the descendants of Muhammad (P.B.U.H);
    2. Zakat cannot be given to parents and grandparents. In the same manner one’s children and grandchildren cannot be given Zakat. A husband and wife cannot give Zakat to each other.
    3. Zakat contributions cannot be given to such institutions or organizations who do not give the rightful recipients possession of Zakat, but instead use Zakat funds for constructions, investment or salaries.

    VIRTUES OF ZAKAT:
    Allah says in the Quran:
    “The parable of those who spend their wealth in the way of Allah is that of a grain of corn. It grows seven ears and each ear has hundred grains. Allah increases manifold to whom He pleases.” (Quran 2:261)
    It is stated in the Hadith that by giving Zakat the following benefits are derived:

    1. Gain the pleasure of Allah.
    2. Increase in wealth and protection from losses.
    3. Allah’s forgiveness and blessings.
    4. Protection from the wrath of Allah and from a bad death.
    5. A shelter on the Day of Judgment;
    6. Security from seventy misfortunes.

    THE PUNISHMENT FOR NOT GIVING ZAKAT:
    Allah says in the Quran:
    “And there are those who hoard gold and silver and do not spend it in the way of Allah, announce to them a most grievous penalty (when) on the Day of Judgment heat will be produced out of that wealth in the fire of Hell. Then with it they will be branded on their forehead and their flanks and backs. (It will be said to them) This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves, taste then the treasure that you have been hoarding.” (Al-Quran 9:34-35)

  • Ali says:

    I received an email from Payoneer that they are re-issuing all cards because they have changed their issuer bank, I requested for one and just got an email that my application has been approved and they need some extra verification documents from Pakistani users, i.e. a copy of Govt. issued ID and proof of address. New card could be used in Pakistan. Although there will be an extra $15 fee for all these extra steps but anyways its a good news 🙂

  • nadeem says:

    Hi all:

    What is proof of address ?

    Regards,
    Asif Hameed

  • Aneel Pasha says:

    Dear Akeel ,
    can you tell me about plimus did they transfer the payments on time or just sort of scam they are ?

    waiting for your reply coz if they are good then i can start with them and also let me know if i will go with them for the volume of $40k a month is this gone be a good or not ?

    Regards,
    Aneel Pasha

  • fateh aly says:

    when i fill form
    they ask me nic number but in box donot allow to write – symbol what i do?

  • Abby Hughen says:

    Beneficial data here, This is what i’m interested in. thanks, i’ve bookmark your website.

  • It is a actually great web site, too dangerous I’m an asshole.

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