Fintech Middle East & Africa

Mastercard Drives Digital Improvements in Qatar – From IKEA to Incubators

IKEA, one of the world’s largest home furnishing brands has recently announced the launch of their e-commerce store in Qatar, enabling local shoppers to order their favourite items online and pay with a credit card. In order to ensure fast, safe and convenient online payment experience IKEA teamed up with Qatar National Bank – the largest financial institution in the Middle East and Africa- to provide reliable local acquiring services combined with Mastercard’s payment gateway platform.

QNB offers digital e-commerce products built on innovation and service excellence, keeping businesses up to date with the latest payment solutions, powered by trusted and secure Mastercard technology.
IKEA customers can now securely pay for their online purchases using all major credit card brands, knowing that their payment details are always protected by the latest technology. Some of the features that enhance IKEA’s checkout security include tokenization (ability to convert sensitive card details into an unreadable token) and 3D Secure.

And IKEA is not the only enterprise to benefit. As part of its efforts to drive innovation, technology leader Mastercard has partnered with Qatar Development Bank to support the development of the fintech industry through the Qatar FinTech Hub (QFTH) – a tech ecosystem that supports the growth of local and international fintech companies in Qatar.

Mastercard will work closely with the fintech community in Qatar through QFTH to accelerate innovation and drive the adoption of digital payments in the country. The Qatar FinTech Hub brings together a vibrant community of fintech entrepreneurs, industry experts, regulators, and investors to develop disruptive technologies and accelerate the growth of the fintech ecosystem. Through this partnership, QTFH start-ups and partners will also gain access to Mastercard’s technology, expertise, products, and services, equipping them with the tools they need to navigate their growth.

The partnership will also identify relevant companies for Mastercard’s start-up engagement program, Start Path, opening market access for QFTH’s start-ups and Start Path companies – for mutual benefit. Start Path is Mastercard’s award-winning startup engagement program that brings together a network of innovators from across the globe to shape the future of commerce together. Start-ups benefit from the knowledge of a global network of Mastercard experts, technologies, and channels. Since its beginning, more than 200 later – stage start-ups and fintechs have participated in the program. These entities have collectively raised $2.6 billion in post-program investment, in addition to partnering with some of the world’s largest banks, merchants and well-known organizations.

Nadia Ghissassi, Director Country Business Development, Qatar, Mastercard commented, said: “At Mastercard, we are committed to drive innovation and bolster the growth of the local and regional fintech ecosystem. We are constantly seeking new ways to leverage our network, technology, insights, and partnerships to help inform and enable small businesses to boost prosperity. Together with our partners in the private and public sector, we are committed to accelerating digitization and drive economic growth, creating opportunities for knowledge-sharing, and ultimately advance the payments infrastructure in the country.”

Commenting on the partnership, Ibrahim Al-Mannai, Executive Director (Advisory and Incubation) at Qatar Development Bank: “We are thrilled to welcome Mastercard to our community of fintech entrepreneurs, investors, and enablers. We aspire to offer the ideal launchpad for early-stage and matured FinTechs to scale up, revolutionise financial services and make a global impact. We hope that Mastercard’s extensive network of existing start-ups, experience in enabling digitization, and deep market knowledge will allow us to shape the future of fintech in Qatar and create further opportunities to grow and develop digital payments.” ​


  • Gina is a fintech journalist (BA, MA) who works across broadcast and print. She has written for most national newspapers and started her career in BBC local radio.

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