Qatar National Bank (QNB) has become the country’s first bank, and one of the first in the wider region, to introduce its own open banking platform. Leveraging its API infrastructure, the bank will allow both its customers and partners to access its core banking systems.
The Middle East and Africa (MENA)-based financial institution has announced the launch of its open banking platform for its customers, partners and emerging fintechs in Qatar.
Speaking at the launch of the platform, Adel Al-Malki, general manager of QNB group retail banking, cited the bank’s partnership with Ooredoo and the creation of Ooredoo Money as one of the earliest examples of its exploration into open banking.
‘’We implemented this almost 10 years ago and it has now become a case study where wallets operated by a telecom has access to multiple banking facilities,” comments Al-Malki, adding that “it’s important to note that these products offered by QNB and Ooredoo are first of their kind in the region and at times in the world.”
Open banking aims to integrate the bank’s core financial services with its partners in a secure manner, to share customer data and facilitate payments between organisations.
The evolution of consumer demand, exacerbated by the changing lifestyle habits of generation Z, requires organisations to provide a seamless customer experience in each interaction.
Fintechs, IOT companies and other third-party providers are looking at unified integration with banks for data sharing and payment processing. Enabling these Open Banking APIs would transform the fintech landscape in Qatar and help to launch innovative futuristic solutions for nationals, residents and visitors to the country.
Khalid Ahmed Al-Sada, general manager of group corporate and institutional banking, confirmed that the bank is “actively exploring” new partnerships with open banking pioneers, and that beyond regulatory compliance, “our goal is to enrich our corporate bank e-channels with beyond banking value-added services.”
Al-Sada reaffirms his belief that a new digital collaborative financial ecosystem is already at play, an ecosystem where “banks together with their new partners can unlock further synergies and drive innovation faster.”
“The ultimate goal of open banking is to increase efficiency, enrich functionality and put user experience to the next level,” he added.
Maryam Mohd Al Kuwari, general manager of QNB group information technology, noted that the bank is “very excited” with the incorporation of open banking into its existing system, and also for the potential it may unlock for both its partners and its customers.
Going into this in wider detail, Al Kuwari describes how QNB hopes to “leverage our banking expertise and industry-standard technology to integrate with emerging fintech; thus providing highly innovative and focused solutions across multiple domains.”
Speaking on QNB’s future ambitions for the technology, Al Kuwari added that “we hope to introduce hyper-personalised experiences for our retail and corporate customers as we continue to adhere to our track record of implementing pioneering solutions.”
Open banking can allow customers to use their bank accounts for payments without relying on credit or debit cards while facilitating access to a single financial portal across various financial institutions, investment and insurance companies.
With customer consent, financial data can be shared with third parties, generating better customer insights and tailored financial instruments.
Al-Malki further commented: “The success of future banks relies on its use of data and technology; banks blending these two elements to provide lifestyle benefits at competitive offering will lead the industry.”