Iraq Expectations 2024: Will mobile phones eliminate “cash”… and what do we know about FIB Bank?

Iraq Expectations 2024: Will mobile phones eliminate “cash”… and what do we know about FIB Bank?


Iraq Expectations 2024 - Will mobile phones eliminate cash... and what do we know about FIB BankBankers and financial experts say that a noticeable jump in the number of Iraqis holding electronic payment cards during the past months encourages expectations of major reforms in the type of commercial transactions and financial services, and also prompts optimism about the success of the “digital banking” experience, especially after the “first bank” “Electronic” in Iraq FIB obtained a license from the Central Bank, to promote financial transactions via an application within mobile phones.

More than two million Iraqis issued electronic bank cards during the past ten months, according to the Iraqi Banks Association.

The government says that it is working to move towards electronic transactions with the aim of reducing corruption and money laundering and controlling the work of banks, instead of paying in paper currency, but the process is moving slowly for various reasons, most notably the reluctance of citizens to adopt the card system, in addition to the failure of some commercial centers to deal with points of sale. Electronic POS.

Earlier this year, the government obligated commercial centers, restaurants, private schools, universities, private colleges, and fuel processing stations of all types and locations, and throughout Iraq, to ​​open bank accounts and provide points of sale for electronic payment.

In addition to this path, which seems faltering despite its promising steps so far, local banks have dared to propose a digital bank model that manages all its financial operations through mobile phones, according to specific standards.

FIB Bank says that it is the first “Iraqi electronic bank” that provides financial services (online) via the Internet, without the need to visit the bank’s headquarters.

According to data published on its website, the bank relies more on technical experts than accountants, and its required jobs focus on programmers and technology engineers.

It is not clear yet the general indicators of the success of such banks in a country that has been accustomed to paper currency for decades, and is now struggling to move to card payment later than all the countries of the region, but the experts who spoke with the 964 network said that the experience will constitute a qualitative shift in the Iraqi banking sector, Although customers need to overcome their fears of digital transactions, which are still new to the country.

An electronic bank is a bank, like any traditional bank we deal with, but it does not use routine methods that require meeting people in person to complete and complete transactions.

The electronic bank carries out all its steps via the Internet, relying on digital tools in a special system.

Any citizen (or resident) can open accounts online, to withdraw and deposit funds through easy and secure steps.

Opening accounts and obtaining electronic cards is a good phenomenon, but an Iraqi gap in this area must be addressed, which has been exploited to withdraw cash dollars outside Iraq and benefit from the price difference in the parallel market.

The electronic bank’s step is a success for the banking sector by relying on electronic payment, but the dollar exchange rates have not been affected by this issue so far.

Aland Saif Al-Din, Technical Director at FIB Bank, told the 964 network:
FIB is the first digital bank in Iraq, operating with a license from the Central Bank.

The financial services we provide are exactly similar to what other banks offer, but through an application within a mobile phone.

In addition to the digital service, there are branches of the bank in all governorates that provide their services to customers normally.

Anyone can open a bank account in the phone application, through easy and quick steps, and the customer can transfer or receive amounts from his home, within a very short time.

Customers’ rights are preserved because the Central Bank supervises the bank’s work and monitors the measures taken, as it does with other traditional banks.

Ali Tariq, Executive Director of the Association of Banks, told the 964 network :
The private banking sector has worked greatly on developing the infrastructure with regard to technology, and many banking services are now available that are performed via electronic applications, such as opening an account, issuing a bank card, transferring funds, applying for loans, and others.

The use of technology contributes to the access of banking services to all segments of society, and leads to increased financial inclusion.

Nabil Jabbar Al-Tamimi, financial expert for the 964 Network :
The Iraqi government is trying with the Central Bank of Iraq to expand work using electronic cards as one of the steps to localize funds in Iraqi government and private banks.

The government’s first economic goal is to provide cash liquidity primarily with banks to achieve development goals, followed by other goals that contribute to the process of paying in the commercial market, codifying complications, and providing public facilities.

Iraqis rushed intensively to acquire electronic cards after government decisions that stipulated the expansion of work with electronic cards, including restricting payment for gas stations to electronic payment cards, which may extend to exclusive means of payment for services provided by the government in general in the near future.

Electronic payment has several benefits, including the stability of the national currency, stimulating trade, tax discipline, ease of transactions, speed of trade and services, and controlling state revenues.

Electronic payment requires the provision of appropriate infrastructure for such cash operations, such as servers, databases, control and protection programs, and automatic payment and withdrawal ports.