RIYADH: In a significant development highlighting the acceleration of digital payments, Qatar Central Bank revealed that online transactions in August touched 5.46 million and totaled 3.19 billion Qatari riyals ($876 million).
QCB further said there were 2.07 million direct debit cards, 690,569 credit cards and 994,167 prepaid cards actively used by consumers.
The surge in online transactions also coincides with the adoption of point-of-sale devices nationwide.
The number of POS devices hit 68,898 in August, facilitating 27.7 million transactions during that period, accumulating a total value of 6.74 billion riyals.
The increase in online and POS transactions indicates a growing digital payments ecosystem, reflective of consumer confidence and the country’s ongoing efforts to integrate financial technology solutions.
In August, the apex bank notified interested companies to apply for a license to offer buy now, pay later solutions.
It stated that firms willing to operate in this sector must apply for a license, adding that the application process will open in September.
This move aims to license and regulate the BNPL services in the country as it embarks on a journey to support diversification and innovation within the financial sector under Qatar National Vision 2030.
The licensing also aligns with QCB’s continuous efforts to regulate and develop the country’s financial sector.
The BNPL system is an alternative payment method that allows customers to purchase products and services and split the total cost into affordable time-specific repayment options.
“This payment method not only allows customers to indulge in their desired purchases without straining their budget, while providing multiple benefits like easy budgeting and planning future payments,” the bank said in a statement.
“Additionally, most BNPL services do not charge late or other fees if the installments are paid on time, making it accessible to a wider range of customer segments,” it added.
This move aligns with Qatar’s financial strategy to enhance fintech, Islamic finance, capital markets and asset management.
Source: Arab News