Qatar Fintech Hub Continues to Receive Applications, As Nation Prepares for Cashless, Knowledge-based Digital Economy, Banking Exec Confirms

The Qatar Development Bank (QDB), an institution offering financial services, banking and loans for the development of the Middle Eastern nation’s industrial, tourism, educational, health care, (and other sectors), recently confirmed that it aims to accelerate the digital transformation of the financial services industry in the country.

Abdulaziz bin Nasser al-Khalifa, the CEO at Qatar Development Bank, has noted:

“’From Fintech’s early emergence as a challenger to a conventional financial services sector to its role today as a change catalyst and enabler, it is safe to say that our industry has come a long way.”

Abdulaziz, whose comments came during the Asia Blockchain Summit 2020 (ABS2020), which was conducted virtually for the first time this year (due to COVID-19), revealed:

“At QDB, we are making remarkable headway in creating a world-class Fintech hub in Qatar, in collaboration with the Qatar Central Bank and the Qatar Financial Center, as well as laying the foundation for transforming ourselves into a digital development bank of the future and serve as a model to be followed in the region.”

Abdulaziz also confirmed that Qatar’s Fintech ecosystem was developing steadily and that industry professionals were working with local banks and cross-sector players to establish strategic relationships. He also mentioned that the nation’s Fintech sector remains focused on developing innovative platforms that will allow users to access trade finance, asset exchange, digital payments, and various value-added services.

Abdulaziz said that the Qatar Fintech Hub (QFTH) has been receiving applications for the first group that will take part in its accelerator programs. The QFTH aims to assist institutions with implementing their digital transformation strategies by integrating the latest financial technologies into their product offerings.

Qatar’s smart transformation projects, its national vision for the upcoming decade, and the scheduled 2022 FIFA World Cup will aim to leverage technology to support a knowledge-based economy, Abdulaziz stated.

He added that the nation is focused on developing “smart” government infrastructure, and innovative Islamic Fintech products that will support a cashless economy and all-digital World Cup experience.

The Qatar Development Bank’s CEO’s comments came during his keynote presentation which was held virtually on the third day of the summit.

Speakers in this year’s edition included Chris Hadfield, the Canadian commander of the International Space Station; Hester Peirce from the US Securities and Exchange Commission; Pēteris Zilgalvis, co-chair of the European Commission Fintech Task Force; Sheila Warren, head of Blockchain and Data Policy at the World Economic Forum; and Ethereum co-founder Vitalik Buterin.

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