Alongside various banks, Vodafone and Ooredoo have been awarded licences by the Qatar Central Bank (QCB), opening the door for mobile payments head of the FIFA World Cup.

This weekend, a tweet from the QCB has revealed that two telcos are among the seven companies to be awarded mobile payment licences.

Earlier this week, the QCB allocated digital payment licences to five Qatari banks, thereby enabling customers to make payments with a variety of popular apps, including Google Pay, Samsung Pay, and Apple Pay.

Alongside this announcement, the QCB also revealed that it had granted a similar licence to the country’s two mobile operators Vodafone Qatar and Ooredoo, thereby allowing the telcos’ customers to make digital payments using the telcos’ respective platforms, namely Vodafone iPay and Ooredoo Money.


Additional digital payment licences are expected to follow in the months to come, in anticipation of the huge influx of tourists arriving for the World Cup in November.

It should be noted, however, that the Qatari government remains staunchly against allowing digital assets (e.g., cryptocurrency), which have been banned for being too high risk since 2020.

Algeria, Egypt, Iraq, Morocco, and Tunisia, have all issued similar bans.

Instead, the government is focussing on blockchain technology and its own central bank digital currency, though progress in this area appears to have stalled sine it was first announced in March this year.


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