Ooredoo and iPay by Vodafone Awarded Qatar’s First Digital Payment Licenses

Ooredoo and iPay by Vodafone Awarded Qatar’s First Digital Payment Licenses

Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has issued the country’s first digital payment licenses to Ooredoo Money and iPay by Vodafone Qatar.

The announcement was made in a tweet on 30 August 2022 that said that the issuance was made “to contribute to the development of the financial technology sector and enhance financial inclusion.”

Qatar has been working towards becoming a global fintech hub since the formation of the Qatar Fintech Taskforce in 2017 comprising the QCB, Qatar Development Bank (QDB), Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), and several financial institutions operating in the country.

The QCB is said to be developing a new fintech strategy that it plans to launch in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Central bank governor H E Sheikh Bandar bin Mohammed bin Saoud Al Thani was quoted saying that the new strategy will include the implementation of a fully integrated, centralised nationwide real-time payment network that will enable banks to accept contactless payments from digital wallets.

Separately, the head of the QCB’s fintech section Alanood Abdullah Al Muftah was also quoted saying that the new fintech strategy could place greater focus on digital currencies:

“Each central bank should study digital banks, considering their growing significance in the global market. We also see the direction of the market moving towards having a digital currency. However, it’s still being studied whether we’re having a digital currency or not.”

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