Qatar Central Bank is now preparing to announce the financial technology (Fintech) strategy in view of its importance in the development of Qatar’s banking and financial sector, said HE the QCB Governor Sheikh Abdulla bin Saoud al-Thani.
This, he said, will be done in cooperation with financial institutions and financial technology companies.
Sheikh Abdullah was delivering keynote address at the opening session of the ‘Euromoney Qatar 2019 Conference’ at The St.Regis Doha Sunday.
QCB will contribute to the creation of a modern regulatory environment that supports Innovation and market stability, he said.
Sheikh Abdullah explained that the global financial sector was rapidly developing, supported by electronic innovations and systems, where the provision of financial services has become mainly dependent on technology. This is because of its greater role in transforming the banking sector from its conventional channels to digital alternatives in banking.
Preparations are underway to launch digital banks, or what is known as new banks, which provide banking services through mobile applications and other channels, he said.
“The future banking industry is also heading towards a new historical turning point, where the extent of banks' ability to benefit from advanced technology is studied in order to employ them in financial services, for example artificial intelligence, and blockchain technology. These developments will extend to a wide range of financial services,” he noted.
Sheikh Abdulla stressed the need for regulatory and supervisory bodies around the world quickly cope with the new challenges in order to reduce regulatory gaps and maintain financial stability, in light of recent developments in the financial and banking sector.
The QCB Governor stated that due to the technical knowledge and flexibility that Fintech companies enjoyed, they have become a major competitor to the banking sector.
Banks, he noted “have also been quick to join this development, and begun to invest heavily in technology” with the aim of improving their operations and providing superior services to clients, which made technology more focused on the banking industry.
The developments witnessed in the banking technology sector, and the desire of customers to use digital services, have redefined the concept of retail banking.
Improving operational efficiency in this regard can only be through the adoption of new technologies, especially for banking services, including deposits, current accounts, credit cards, money transfers and others, with the aim of making them competitive.
Sheikh Abdulla said banking technologies that relied on artificial intelligence, electronic cloud-based banking services and enhanced digital capabilities have become an essential element in banking processes, which called for the development and direction of banking services in future.
On developments in the financial sector, he said most of these were in relation to the emergence of mobile banking, which allowed customers to deposit funds, do money transfers and monitor, oversee and distribute their profits.
Most of the mobile banking services can now be executed at any time and any place, he noted.
Among other major developments is the entry of large technology companies including Apple, Google and Amazon in the financial landscape. These companies have a large customer base and can achieve significant gains in terms of efficiency and enhance financial inclusion.
He stated that this development raised many concerns about privacy, competition and market monopoly, which might pose threats to the global financial system. The International Monetary Fund noted this in the recent G20 summit in Tokyo.