With reporting from Ankita Menon
Qatar residents who plan to travel between May and August and plan to use their credit or debit cards during this time should inform their banks beforehand.
Otherwise, their transactions could be declined, according to a new directive from Qatar Central Bank (QCB).
Speaking to Doha News, several local financial institutions have confirmed receiving a circular this week from QCB regarding this change.
A Doha Bank representative said that the move was an effort to increase security, because a pin number is not required to be punched in when cards with magnetic strips are used outside of Qatar. This could encourage fraud, he added.
For Doha Bank customers who want to use their cards outside of the country, they should SMS 92610 to ensure the service works while traveling.
Meanwhile, a representative at Qatar Commercial Bank said his company had received the circular, and that it contained warnings about transactions from certain countries, including Indonesia, China, Malaysia and Thailand.
Customers traveling to these countries must inform their banks so their transactions won’t be blocked while abroad, he said. CBQ can be reached at 44449000.
Meanwhile, a representative at Qatar International Islamic Bank said they have received the Central Bank directive and advised customers to call on 44840000 any time to inform them about the issue.
Several other banks, including HSBC and Khaleeji could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
Qatar has been working to combat financial fraud in recent months by adding security measures to local ATMs and banning the use of debits cards for online shopping.
That change, which took place during the end of last year – a holiday season for many residents – caused frustration for many customers. Many complained about not being informed about the decision, while others said it was simply inconvenient. Credit cards weren’t affected.
Speaking to Doha News in November, a QCB official said that new moves weren’t necessarily due to increasing incidences of fraud, but simply to stay ahead of the game.
Has your bank notified you about what to do when traveling abroad? Thoughts?