With the ongoing pandemic destroying the global economy, a new era of cashless digital payment emerges.
Qatar’s largest financial institutions have accelerated the adoption of new technology for payments, seeking to provide merchants with the “safest and most convenient” innovative digital banking solutions to date.
Commercial Bank and Dukhan Bank of Qatar became the latest to provide advanced services to clients amid a surge in virus infection cases and an imminent need to avoid physical contact in public.
Commercial bank, one of the leading digital Banks in Qatar, announced on Wednesday the launch of a digital feature that enables payment through wearables, such as smartwatches and fitness trackers.
Cardholders can now make use of the contactless payment solution to proceed with payments from their devices, without the need of cards.
This service is backed by an advanced Tokenization platform, which is said to offer users a more secure and transparent transaction process.
It replaces sensitive cardholder information with an alternate card number or token that is used for purchases.
This was first adopted by banks to reduce the possibility of fraud. However, as the virus continues to spread, it is perceived as the “safest” way to make sales.
“We are a big supporter of the government’s vision of a cashless society, therefore always trying to provide innovative, convenient, and secure payment solutions to both our customers and merchants alike,” Roya Khajeh, AGM Head of Cards and Payments at CB said.
“Amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, more people across the region and the world are turning to contactless payments for safe, hygienic, and fast purchases, and we are delighted to offer them additional touchless solutions and a seamless banking experience,” Khajeh added.
Banks around the world are stepping into fully digitised financial transactions, allowing customers to register card details into their personal devices. This allows a purchase to be made using a simple tap on the device at all contactless-supported payment terminals.
“Contactless payment technologies were already gaining traction, we have witnessed how the pandemic acted as a catalyst and dramatically increased consumer adoption in this market,” said Nadia Ghissassi, Country Manager, Qatar, Kuwait, Iraq and Oman, MasterCard.
“Shoppers have realised that touchless provides a much faster, safer, convenient and hygienic way to pay. Hence we will continue to work closely with our partners in Qatar to introduce new solutions that are aligned with their changing needs,” Ghissassi added.
Today, contactless payment is accepted worldwide.
Earlier this week, Dukhan Bank also announced the launch of Dukhan Pay (D-Pay), which is a contactless payment platform set to meet customers’ increasing demand for digital banking services.
The bank also released wristbands that are designed to facilitate the contactless payments under their latest platform.
“The Dukhan Bank wristbands are entering the market at a time when there is an increased demand in safe, contactless payment. In addition to being safe, the wearables facilitate fast and easy transactions using blended technology that is both secure and fashionable,” the bank said.
The smart wristband is fitted with a chip and makes use of the Near Field Communication (NFC) technology to facilitate contactless payments.
QNB was the first Bank in Qatar to adopt digital contactless payment services way back in 2012. In 2019, it adopted the wearables technology to provide its customers an easier and more up-to-date service.
“Whether the cardholder chooses a watch payment accessory, a fitness – wristband or a keychain, the QNB contactless smart chip will fit perfectly into any lifestyle and allow the customer to experience seamless tap and pay transactions,” according to the national bank.
“QNB is the forerunner in introducing new payment technologies that are safe, secure and most importantly convenient for our customers. We continue to invest and innovate in technology to ensure that our customers’ demands and changing lifestyle needs are met,” Heba Al -Tamimi, General Manager QNB Group, Retail Banking, said.
Al -Tamimi added that “QNB is aligned with the Qatar Government’s vision of becoming a cashless society by further advancing electronic payments in the market. The introduction of QNB’s wearable payment products and leverage the contactless transactions is another testament to the vision where cardholders can use their cards for payments instead of using cash exclusively.”
This technology was first adopted to offer customers the convenience of paying without having to pull out a card, memorising a PIN code or searching for cash while maintaining protection and security.
However, after the spread of the coronavirus, digital payment became the safest alternative to avoid any disease transmission.
Several other banks in Qatar – Al Ahli Bank, QIB, and others – have previously launched contactless credit and debit cards.