In the near future, the central bank will specify its future focus, including various fintech verticals
Qatar Central Bank (QCB) is reportedly examining the possibility of issuing digital bank licenses and launching a digital currency.
Alanood Abdullah Al Muftah, the head of the fintech section at QCB, said the central bank is expected to establish its future direction soon regarding fintech verticals.
He further stated that the QCB will also determine whether Qatar can establish a central bank digital currency (CBDC). She explained:
"Each central bank should study digital banks, considering their growing significance in the global market. We also see the direction of the market moving toward having a digital currency. However, it's still being studied whether we're having a digital currency or not."
Al Muftah said that three companies in the payments sector are currently testing solutions with the central bank as part of Qatar's regulatory sandbox. She also stated that the QCB is considering other firms interested in utilizing the regulatory sandbox.
What is Regulatory Sandbox?
An authorized regulatory sandbox is a set of facilities that allow fintech companies to test new products, services, business models, and delivery methods in a real-world setting while receiving accelerated approval and supervision.
Qatar's Dukhan Bank, meanwhile, is looking into how to set up a digital bank there, its chief operations and digital officer Narayanan Srinivasan told The Peninsula. Srinivasan warned, however, that if his institution wants to build a digital bank it must first understand its economics. As per the report, Dukhan Bank is also considering blockchain technology in the payments sector.