Qatar Central Bank has said that a new strategy for financial technology (FinTech) will be launched during the last quarter of this year.
Qatar Central Bank Governor Sheikh Bandar bin Mohammed bin Saoud Al-Thani said at the opening ceremony of the ninth edition of the Euromoney Qatar Conference last week, that the bank is working on designing a new strategy for financial technology and intends to launch this strategy during the last quarter of 2022.
Qatar Central Bank Governor said that a fully integrated payments platform will be created, as part of the current update of the payment system software, including a central infrastructure system for swift payments network at the country level.
Qatar Central Bank is also creating the necessary infrastructure to enable banks to approve payments from digital wallets.
Financial technology strategies are essentially based on technological research and development, to support transition from traditional channels to digital alternatives in banking.
Preparations are ongoing to launch the digital banks, or what is dubbed as new banks, that offer banking facilities via mobile phone applications and services.
Qatar Central Bank has formulated and disseminated several regulations related to financial technology, including electronic insurance guidelines, payment services regulations, and principles of the electronic ‘KYC’ controls.
The number of companies providing financial technology services in the experimental virtual environment has been increased prior to the licensing process to ensure that these companies have safer and more effective payment options.
Economic expert Dr Abdullah Al-Khater said that Qatar has witnessed a qualitative leap in this field in the past few years.
He said the banking system in Qatar adapted quickly to technological variations, and was a success in addressing the challenges through digitizing the banking operations.
He said that adherence to the conditions of security and safety in financial technology services in Qatar is high.
Al-Khater said the strategy has set many basic objectives including the development of skilled human resources for the purpose.
Sobhi Shabib, a specialist in financial technology and General Manager of GBM in Qatar, said that the intention of the Qatar Central Bank to launch a new strategy for financial technology by the last quarter of this year is an important step for the development of financial and commercial services, and a quantum leap for the banking sector.
He said the new strategy will improve the competitiveness of the Qatari economy, open wider horizons for banks and private companies, and contribute to providing financial services and products at competitive prices, quickly and efficiently.
Shabib added that FinTech is a technical innovation based on providing advanced financial and banking services by companies in cooperation with banks.
He said Qatari banking sector will transform under the new strategy.
Digital banks that provide banking services through electronic applications have reduced cost levels compared to their traditional counterparts, he added.
He said the new strategy is subject to regulations which enhances customers’ confidence in banks.
Shabib said the Qatar Central Bank’s plan is in line with the digital age that relies on data as real capital and integrates economic expertise, financial skill, statistical analysis, programming and cloud platforms into a single vision of financial and banking operations.
In its annual report, Qatar Central Bank had said a department for electronic financial system was set up and a strategy for financial technology developed.
It aims to develop a collaborative and connected financial ecosystem to meet the long-term goals of Qatar National Vision 2030.
Qatar Central Bank has also implemented several policies and procedures to promote electronic payments. One of the main initiatives was the rationalization of fees and operational deadlines for payment systems.