Qatar Central Bank (QCB) announced the issuance of the first digital payment license to two companies that provide electronic payment services — iPay by Vodafone Qatar and Ooredoo Money.
In a statement, the central bank explained 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 enhance financial inclusion.”
The digital payment license comes a week after the launch of the Google Pay digital wallet. QCB tweeted that “all global digital wallet services for cards, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay, are now accepted in Qatar, enabling visitors especially during the world cup to process and complete their digital payments.”
In June this year, QNB also became the first local bank to introduce its own open banking platform. The open banking platform builds on earlier work with Ooredoo which allowed Ooredoo wallet holders to access banking facilities such as virtual IBAN, virtual MasterCard, payroll solutions and remittances.
Qatar houses the Middle East’s largest financial institution by total assets owned, Qatar National Bank (QNB).
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