Top information technology (IT) corporations have been drawn to Qatar by its burgeoning startup ecosystem because they see it as a key strategic sector for their activities in the years to come.
The Doha-based CWallet, a multi-featured digital wallet with features for online and QR payments, remittances, and e-ticket storage, revealed last month that it was moving its whole tech stack to Microsoft Azure to take advantage of the flexibility of its cloud environment.
While Google will launch its own cloud area in Qatar later this year, Microsoft is getting ready to launch a new Azure central region in Qatar very soon.
In June 2021, before that, Amazon Web Services (AWS) proclaimed that Qatar-based management consultancy partners, independent software vendors (ISVs), and data suppliers could conduct business in AWS Marketplace as well as in AWS Data Exchange, according to the report. This gave local Qatari industries direct exposure to millions of AWS’s international clients.
This opens up a new market entry point for consulting clients, ISVs, including data suppliers. AWS stated in a statement that it also provides accessibility to the greater than 310,000 active monthly users of the AWS Marketplace & AWS Data Exchange.
The government of Qatar has taken a number of initiatives that have been essential in advancing the nation’s progress toward becoming a recognised player in the GCC Financial industry.
One of these initiatives is the Qatar Fintech Task Force, a public-private partnership that was established in 2017 to promote innovation. The Qatar Fintech Hub (QFTH), which was established in 2019 to provide incubation and accelerator programmes for FinTechs, is another such project.
Qatar has trial-launched its regulatory playpen and plans to debut it fully soon on the regulatory front. And the nation’s central bank has started preliminary inquiries into a prospective central bank virtual currency as a curiosity in digital currencies gains steam on a worldwide scale.
On the other side of things, Visa and Ahlibank, both of Doha, have formed a partnership and announced plans to jointly introduce card-based purchase products and develop cutting-edge technological solutions to improve the banking services for Ahlibank clients.
By giving them the newest capabilities to assure safe and reliable digital payment, even Microsoft Qatar plans to digitally change thousands of organisations.
Global Data projects that Qatar will spend $9 billion on ICT by 2024, growing at a compound annual expansion rate of 9.2%. The research said that the Qatari government’s $200 billion investment package demonstrates its dedication to funding technological advancements while also luring FDI and foreign labour.
One significant move in this approach was taken in June 2022 when Qatar National Bank was established as the very first bank to offer its own public banking system, not only in Qatar but also in the larger GCC region.
The bank will provide access to its key banking systems to both its clients and partners by leveraging its API architecture.
QNB has been experimenting with open banking since much earlier, according to Adel Al-Malki, General Manager of QNB Group Retail Banking.
Their collaboration with Ooredoo, or specifically Ooredoo Money is a prime example of how open banking and FinTech partnerships can be used to deliver financial services to the general public.
He claimed that almost ten years after implementing this system, QNB has turned it into a case study where wallets run by telecom companies can access a variety of banking services, including online IBAN, digital MasterCard, and payroll solutions, local and foreign remittances, and other facilities.
The official statement read that it is crucial to highlight that these goods provided by QNB & Ooredoo are among the first of their type in the area, and occasionally in the world.