QiCard .. the Leading company that provides electronic financial services in Iraq
1- After Covid-19 pandemic, the world has witnessed a big growth in the use of electronic payments, how do you evaluate your experience in Iraq?
I would say it is similar. While Iraq is still an emerging market with relatively low acceptance rates, during this time of the pandemic the market definitely saw a significant rise in the use of electronic payments, especially for online purchases.
2- What are the types and features of the cards you issue?
ISC issues a classic MasterCard, and a dual-badge card that contains its original multi-biometric features of the original QiCard a long with all the features of the MasterCard.
3- What services can the QiCard holders benefit from?
The original QiCard offered ease of use with along with extreme security through the use of biometrics. With access to more than 15,000 points of cash throughout the country, our cardholders have both the convenience of easy access to their funds as well as the security of multi-biometrics to protect them.
4- Do you provide your services to the commercial banks in Iraq? Or in other meaning do you issue and manage special customized cards for the commercial banks so they can provide them to their customers?
Yes, currently we support two banks in this regard where the banks offer their own co-branded card through us and leverage our nationwide acceptance network for their customers.
5- Do you offer any loyalty points to the holders of QiCard to encourage them to use the electronic payment systems?
In June of this year, we will launch our loyalty scheme. It will be point based and offer both discounts and redemption using points.
6- With the lack of trust in the banking system in Iraq, how far is the country from becoming a Cashless society?
We commissioned a study 2 years ago which found that the expectation for Iraq to achieve a 40% penetration rate for acceptance would require 3-5 years.The global events of the past year along with the budgetary issues in Iraq have appeared to provide catalyst which could speed this up, but it will still take time to be fully cashless.
7- In the last years many new electronic payment companies were established in Iraq, how do you evaluate the competition in the market, and what differentiate your company from the others?
Yes many new licenses were granted, but the movement to push to the market has been slow.The original 5-7 payment companies remain the primary competitors. We believe the 13 year investment in our nationwide footprint allowing us to issue hundreds of thousands of cards in a time far shorter than anyone else, our more than 7M card holders, and our massive instant loan programs are the primary differentiators for us. We also believe that technology ecosystem and our ability to support the government by providing technology on the periphery of our infrastructure enables us again to do things that our competition cannot.This applies today, but in order to maintain this advantage it will require adaptation and innovation going forward.
8- What are your future projects?
In general, we will continue to focus on credit products, private sector access to credit, retail acceptance, and identity based products.