Qatar is focused on establishing a cashless society as the role of fintechs surges in the post-pandemic world economic recovery with the demand for cashless and contactless payment drastically increasing in view of the social distancing norms, according to the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC).
Highlighting that its existing financial sector has welcomed fintech innovations where they complement or enhance their existing suite of services; the QFC said Qatar has a large segment of workers, and banks use fintech to serve that segment with cards and remittance
Fintech firms in the payments and remittance space were able to capitalise on the opportunity brought about by the pandemic and gain market share from existing competition in the exchange house space, the QFC said in the report of the World Alliance of International Financial Centers (WAIFC), jointly compiled by it and Luxembourg for Finance.
"The fintech sector is perfectly placed to play a pivotal role in the economic recovery phase that we see unfolding. It is imperative that we all work together with our governments and key institutions to help empower fintechs, enabling them to innovate and advance the broader financial services sector," QFC Authority chief executive Yousuf Mohamed al-Jaida, who is also a board member of the WAIFC.
The pandemic showed that the world needs more enduring partnerships, free flow of information and a constant exchange of innovations, which is very well embodied in the WAIFC's economic recovery initiative, and the innovation and fintech report specifically, he said.
The QFC, in the report 'Innovation and Fintechs in a Post-Pandemic World', highlighted that the fintech ecosystem has benefited from a range of initiatives that have all been offered virtually to cater to their current needs.
"Qatar is very focused on establishing a cashless society," the QFC said, adding the pandemic has allowed fintech payment propositions to flourish in the Qatari market, as the government officially promotes cashless transactions under the circumstances.
Arnaud de Bresson, WAIFC chairman, said the present crisis has brought about the need to reorient the global economic model to accelerate sustainable finance, as well as the digital and the financial innovation, which are key components to the solution of this crisis.
The report found that the impact of the Covid-19 crisis was not sector-specific but global on the financial services industry as a whole.
Fintech companies had to deal with varied industry dynamics on multiple fronts, facing liquidity crises as funding sources dried up during the pandemic.
Furthermore, many fintech subsectors started to gain momentum across the world in the face of the pandemic, with payments and remittance and e-commerce getting a boost, and Regtech increasingly being seen as the best business continuity decision financial institutions can take in light of the crisis.