Qatar, UAE announce restoration of diplomatic representation

Doha, Qatar: The rapidly enhancing fintech sector in the region is a positive sign providing opportunities to individuals in Qatar to support the growth, said an official.

“With the Central bank’s support for the fintech industry, there is bound to be a growth in opportunities and bring people on board to support that,” said Shashank Singh, Visa’s VP and GM for Qatar and Kuwait in an interview with The Peninsula.

He noted that individuals from the fintech industry can take advantage due to its expansion of operations and projects witnessed in Qatar. “Since we see active growth in the market, I believe that we will continue to have more people on the ground to support that growth,” Singh said

Recently, the American-headquartered firm, Visa inaugurated its new office in Tornado Tower, West Bay to manage its operations in the country.

Speaking on the newly opened regional branch, Singh said “At the visa, we are now close to almost looking at about 15 people in this office and we have a pattern which is growing.”

Remarking that the industry is extending its presence in the country, Singh explained that Visa aims to support across the globe.

He said that “The fintech space is really expanding and primarily if you’ve noticed, there is a large surge after the Qatar Central Banks’ policy which was released a few months back. So there, we’ve seen a large surge in fintechs here and I believe now, there are over 1000 techs which have been licensed by the Central Bank and as I’m understanding, there are multiple other Fintechs which are coming in.”

He outlined that the organisation brings in the global expertise that Visa builds through relationships and international assets. “So it’s the expertise and the mentorship that we can bring to the Fintech space here and to give them a growth not only in Qatar but with their aspirations beyond Qatar,” Singh said.

The official highlighted the significant partnerships carried out by Visa with numerous firms and banks in Qatar and furthering its GCC presence.

He noted “So strategically while we continue to work with the banks on driving the payment strategy for the market, we have partners and stakeholders that are there. So obviously what comes first is the banks that we have actively worked with. But other than these, we’re working with merchants to enable small and medium enterprises in the market.”

As part of the overall strategy to bring innovation to the market, Singh stressed the key areas Visa continues to work on enabling further innovation and hackathons in the sector. He emphasised the latest digital payments available in the market as there is “strong growth”. Singh said that Visa considers this important as digital payments are the amount of cash that is available.

He added: “At this time, we still believe that there’s still a 50 percent consumption in cash. So there is a potentiality and it’s a significant amount going forward. Other than personal consumption, there is a large opportunity that we also see in B2B payments.”

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