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Fintech Startups Reshaping Payment Landscape of Qatar

Qatar has recently been making efforts to expand access to financial services to numerous underserved segments. As the country recognizes the importance of fintech solutions for financial inclusion, the local government supported fintech innovation through various initiatives, including funding programs, incubators, and regulatory sandboxes. Joint efforts of the fintech industry and Qatari authorities resulted in a growing fintech startup ecosystem.

Fintech Startups Reshaping Payment Landscape of Qatar

The Fintech landscape in Qatar may be nascent but it is quickly gaining traction. Being one of the wealthiest countries in the world, Qatar has enough monetary resources to support innovative fintech companies at their early stages. Local customers are also increasingly demanding better and more convenient ways to handle their money. All the factors add up to form a vibrant fintech ecosystem that’s consistently evolving.

Besides, many businesses treat Qatar as an attractive fintech gateway to the neighboring MENA markets. Qatar has a good strategic location, strong government-to-government relations with neighboring countries, favorable regulatory environment, and well-developed infrastructure.

In March 2023, Qatari central bank launched the Qatar Fintech Strategy, aiming to become a leader in the financial services sector, and committed to triple the number of licensed fintech companies in the country in the next five years. Here are the notable fintech players actively implementing innovations in Qatar’s banking and financial services.

QPAY

QPAY

The pioneer of Qatari fintech scene, QPay offers numerous electronic payment solutions from payroll to e-commerce and POS. Catering to specific needs of the local customers, QPay has partnered with Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) to launch the first Islamic point of sale (POS) and online payment gateway solutions. It supports contactless card transactions, e-wallet, mobile POS (mPOS), QR (Quick Response) code scanners, online billing and settlement.

The two partners have also launched fully-integrated postal delivery Point of Sale (PoS) in collaboration with Qatar Post. Having received Qatar’s Fintech License from the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) in 2019, the company can theoretically implement innovative blockchain-enabled financial services in the future. In 2023, Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) acquired QPAY International’s acquiring business for an undisclosed amount.


CWallet

CWallet

CWallet has an ambitious goal to become Qatar’s first licensed neobank. The startup offers payment, payroll and remittance services to both low-income and high-volume individual customers, as well as local businesses. Like most fintech startups in Qatar, CWallet has a traditional banking partner. Last year, the startup signed an agreement with QNB, which will support CWallet by facilitating the settlements, in line with the requirements of the Qatar Central Bank. The startup also has numerous strategic partnerships with fintech players. The most recent one is collaboration with NymCard, an embedded finance services provider, that will provide technology and services to issue CWallet-branded prepaid cards for CWallet’s customers in Qatar.


SkipCash

SkipCash

SkipCash aims to streamline the ordering and payment process for both customers and merchants, in both online and offline scenarios. Launched in December 2020, the startup responded to the pandemic-driven demand for digital and contactless payment solutions. SkipCash’s offering consists of a suite of payment solutions, such as a mobile app, payment gateway, tap-to-phone SoftPOS solution, and payment links.

Its mobile app has a range of handy features, enabling users to make payments, track spending, and organize payment receipts. It also offers virtual accounts for children and family members, and gives customers access to vouchers, coupons and cashback offers from merchant partners. Merchants can benefit from Skip Cash online payment gateway and QR-code payment solutions. In 2021, SkipCash made a strategic alliance with online food ordering and delivery service provider, Foodak, to digitize the ordering, payment and tipping processes.


Dibsy

Dibsy

Dibsy offers a solution for businesses in Qatar to accept online payments from customers around the world. Its offering varies from fully embedded integration to hosted checkout. The API solution also enables merchants to create flexible payment flow with both one-time and recurring payments, as well as no-code payment links. Dibsy all-in-one dashboard enables merchants to activate their account, manage payments in real-time, handle refunds and monitor integrations. They can also customize payment pages with unique branding elements.


KARTY

KARTY

Founded in 2021, KARTY is developing an e-wallet that helps individuals and companies to manage their financial assets and savings, share expenses, and set budgets, all in one app. Users can currently join KARTY’s waitlist to try out “effortless navigation and intuitive, user-centric design” once the app launches.

This January, KARTY raised a Seed funding round of $2 million from local investors. In February, the company also received a grant from the QRDI Council in the Technology Development Grant (TDG) piloting phase to accelerate product development. With funding secured, the startup only needs the final approval and licensing from the Qatar Central Bank to roll out its much-expected financial app.


Fatora

Fatora

Fatora online payment and e-commerce platform provides different online payment solutions such as payment links, payment gateway, API integration, and POS. It enables SMEs to send online invoices to their clients and collect payments in a fast and simple manner. The startup also offers online store setup and marketing tools for e-commerce merchants.


Noqoody

Noqoody

Noqoody offers a payment gateway allowing merchants to process various payment methods, like credit cards, ATMs, direct mobile billing, and payments through third-party websites. The gateway is available via APIs and custom SDKs. The card details registered on the portal are secured through Noqoody’s advanced Tokenization technology. Merchants offering their services abroad can avail a multi-currency merchant account, to display prices in local currencies and receive processing settlements in any chosen major world currency.


Qatar Pay

QatarPay

Qatar Pay is an e-wallet with anti-fraud features that offers money transfers and payment transactions services. Besides, the firm provides a QR code payment solution for the vending industry in Qatar with end-to-end integrated services like acceptance of cashless payment methods, centralized transaction management and reporting tools. Vendors can also deploy loyalty and promo code through innovative e-money Qatar Pay’s services. The company also offers Qatar Pay Mobile Kiosks, SSM and POS equipped with software and self service solutions. The kiosks accept all payment types, including cash, credit cards, debit cards, and mobile payments. All payments arrive in real time through the QR code feature in Qatar Pay Wallet App.


fxTsignals

fxTsignals

fxTsignals is a Qatar-based forex exchange hedge fund that provides free and VIP forex signals, account management, and copy trading services. Besides, the platform offers free and paid education services for traders of all levels, as well as advisory services on financial markets, crypto, bonds, commodities and stocks.


GFI Fintech

GFI Fintech

GFI Fintech specializes in profiling technology for the finance industry. Its flagship product is a psychometric credit risk assessment system. GFI alternative risk assessment scores can be used by financial institutions, insurance companies, leasing companies, consumer finance companies, gig-economy companies and retail lenders in their loan decision-making process. At the same time, businesses that use GFI profiling solutions may enhance their performance by monitoring predictive indicators such as employee productivity and work quality. The startup also provides a full range of training and consultancy services to assist businesses in making proper assessment.


Xpendless

Xpendless

The startup offers expense management and prepaid card solutions for businesses of all sizes. Xpendless platform streamlines the entire expense management cycle, from onboarding to reconciliation, and offers a user-friendly digital automated reimbursement feature. In addition, businesses can issue prepaid corporate cards to their employees with Xpendless. These cards are equipped with smart spending controls and real-time tracking. The startup was incubated by Qatar Fintech Hub initiative backed by Qatar Development Bank (QDB) and supported by Qatar Central Bank (QCB).


Spendwisor

Spendwisor

Spendwisor is a mobile QR code based payment and Mobile POS app, with integrated loyalty program solution. The company offers customers in Qatar a buy now pay later (BNPL) option to pay for their purchases in four installments. In addition, the app offers several benefits for shoppers, including personal finance manager , store locator, access to merchant vouchers and discount coupons, and more. The app is currently awaiting launch, with customers invited to join the waitlist for early access.

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