Country Snapshot: Pakistan

Marc Jarrett
Google search trends show Pakistan, Egypt and India as the top three countries in the world where surfers search for "sex" on the Internet. According to Google, surfers in Pakistan search more for the magic three-lettered word with them than do surfers in any other country.

With this in mind, it is worth examining this market in greater detail.

Located in Southern Asia, Pakistan is bordered by Afghanistan and Iran in the west, India in the east and China in the far northeast.

With over 169 million inhabitants, Pakistan is the world's sixth most-populated country, placing it higher than Russia and lower than Brazil, but because of Pakistan's high growth rate, it is expected to surpass Brazil in population by the year 2020.

There are also nearly one million people of Pakistani descent living in the UK, where there are burgeoning cultural connections.

Pakistani society is largely multilingual and predominantly Muslim. Urdu is the only official language, although there are several others used, with use of English being confined to the elite.

According to Internetworldstats, some 12m Pakistanis are already online, representing 7.2 percent of the overall population – so clearly there is some way to go until Pakistani Internet penetration reaches the levels of those in the West.

Credit card usage in Pakistan is still relatively new, with cash still being the preferred method of paying for goods and services.

As with most Asian countries, cell phone ownership is rising dramatically and they can be used as a billing tool for surfers to buy time at paysites.

Given their voracious appetite for searching for sex, the sooner you include such billing into your processing options, the better.