Qatar’s Top bank has marched ahead among its peers by issuing the first-ever license to Ooredoo Money and iPay by Vodafone Qatar and ramping up its digital payment services.
As per a Reuters report, this is a significant step to contribute to the development of the financial technology sector and induce more financial inclusion.
It is worth noting that Qatar will host the 2022 FIFA World Cup towards the tail end of this year. And because of that, the gulf state is working relentlessly to scale up its tourism sector and leave no stone unturned to welcome more than a million soccer fans.
This in turn will help in “enabling visitors, especially during the World Cup to process and complete their digital payments,” the Qatar Central Bank reportedly quoted.
As a matter of fact, the Arab Gulf region is a “key region” for cross-border digital payments post the pandemic. On top of that, the UAE is “one of the top” remittance senders and receivers worldwide. Last year, the region recorded $42.7 billion and $6.78 billion in remittance outflows and inflows.
A few months ago, the 2.8-million nation of Qatar joined a growing range of countries experimenting with the Central bank Digital Currency concept, most popularly known as CBDC. The Qatar Central Bank [QCB] was “in the foundation stage” of issuing its own digital currency.
Qatar Struck Deal With Other Central banks For Cross Border CBDC
Initial reports about the apex bank exploring the possibility of CBDCs came up in March 2022. At that time, the top exec of the fintech section at QCB, Alanood Abdullah Al Muftah, revealed that the bank was studying the concept due to the popular global trend.
In the same year, it announced a joint collaboration of cross-border CBDC payments with the central banks of Thailand, Hong Kong, China, and the Bank of International Settlements.
While on the other hand, Afghanistan’s central bank has imposed a nationwide ban on cryptocurrencies this month and the Taliban regime which is currently in power has arrested several dealers who had refused to obey orders to stop trading digital tokens, a senior police official stated.