Pakistani MCB Bank has announced a partnership with MasterCard to provide its internet gateway service (MiGS) to businesses in the country, allowing them to accept online payments.

The new payment scheme aims at helping merchants to develop their commerce online in order to gain new customers and open to new markets.

Imran Maqbool, president and chief executive officer (CEO) of MCB Bank, said: "The new gateway service makes it easy for business owners to take their businesses online and accept card payments online."

Pakistan counts over 30m internet users, almost 16% of the overall population.

"Businesses in the country have a huge opportunity to tap into the e-commerce market," said Michael Miebach, MasterCard’s president of the Middle East and African regions.

"Along with presenting a number of advantages to the consumer, including speed and convenience, e-commerce has a multitude of benefits for business owners," he added.

According to survey company, specialists estimate the size of e-commerce in Pakistan to be around $25m-$30m a year.

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