Qatar Central Bank issues first license for iPay and Ooredoo

Thursday 1 September 2022 12:35 CET | News

Qatar Central Bank has issued the first license for digital payments to two companies that provide electronic payment services – iPay and Ooredoo.

The central bank stated that the license represented an initial step to include all companies providing digital payment services under the supervision of the Qatar Central Bank to contribute to the development of the financial technology sector and improve financial inclusion.

It is worth noting that Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup towards the tail end of 2022. Therefore, the gulf state is working to scale up its tourism sector and this includes improving its digital payments infrastructure in anticipation of a surge in foreign visitors.

One of the examples is the recent announce of Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) enabling its customers to pay for transactions with their QIB cards stored in Google Pay where contactless payments are available. QIB has introduced Google Pay to debit, credit, and prepaid cardholders who can start using their Android and WearOS devices to tap and pay on the go.

Other developments from Qatar

In June 2022, Qatar National Bank (QNB) launched its Open Banking platform for a wider audience including the bank’s customers, partners, and emerging fintechs in Qatar. QNB is one of the first banks in the region to launch Open Banking services. With this API infrastructure, the bank provides a better banking experience to its customers allowing them to access its core banking systems securely.

Qatar Central Bank issues the first license for digital payments to two companies that provide electronic payment services – iPay and Ooredoo.

Later, in July 2022, QNB has also announced the official launch of popular payment methods WeChat Pay and AliPay+. QNB was already counting for a broad range of payment methods accepted by its merchant network in Qatar and, through the integration, became the first bank in the country to give clients access to these secure local payment methods.

The partnership between QNB and the two payment methods enables millions of customers to complete their transactions safely, securely, and easily. Currently, QNB counts for over 27,000 employers operating through 1,000 locations and benefits from over 4,700 ATMS for extra convenience.

The evolution of digital payments in MENA region

According to a Mastercard study, adoption of a broader range of digital payment methods is accelerating in the MENA region. 85% of people in MENA have used at least one emerging payment method in 2021, including tappable smartphone mobile wallets, Buy Now, Pay Later (BNPL), biometrics, and payment-enabled wearable tech devices.

While traditional payment methods still have traction, one in five (19%) consumers in MENA indicated they used less cash in 2021. By contrast, 64% of MENA users (compared to 61% globally) increased their use of at least one digital payment method in 2021, including digital cards, SMS payments, digital money transfer apps and instant payment services. These behaviours are expected to continue, with comfort and security key to growing adoption.

Younger generations have gone more digital in their purchasing and payments behaviour, and their engagement in and usage of emerging digital payments engagement is accelerating at a faster rate than older audiences. While security and data privacy remain a concern for them, it is less heightened than for older audiences, and they are more likely to perceive digital tools as secure.

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Keywords: central bank, banks, banking license, digital payments
Categories: Payments & Commerce
Companies: iPay, Ooredoo, Qatar Central Bank
Countries: Qatar
This article is part of category

Payments & Commerce





Qatar Central Bank

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