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“We are delighted to be one step closer to our vision of digitalizing payments in Iraq and serve the country’s unbanked population by reducing the cost, time, effort and risks associated with making cash payments,” Ideal Payments' CEO said in a release announcing the deal. “Our service will disrupt the financial services industry in Iraq, offering customers and business[es] a highly secure and very fast way to make payments and manage their money. Our goal is to replicate the success of, and the value created by, mobile payment operators in developing countries, such as M-Pesa.”Ideal Payments announced on Tuesday (Sept. 6) it has partnered with Taif Money Transfer, the Iraqi money transfer service, to roll out Taif eWallet, Iraq’s first mobile payment app. The app enables customers to make and receive payments using their mobile phones.
The service is aimed at creating a holistic payments ecosystem that can be used by multiple agents in the economy, such as retail merchants, eCommerce platforms, private companies and government institutions. The goal is to offer the service to users as a one-stop shop of mobile payment services, whereby customers can easily receive their salaries, make bill payments and transfer money between friends and family. It comes at a time when many countries are moving to mobile payments to help the unbanked.
Iraq, which has a population of around 35 million, remains a cash-based society with a large unbanked population. According to the company, bank account penetration is less than 10 percent, and debit card usage is under 3 percent. Inaccessibility, inefficiency and unaffordability, as well as distrust, have been the main reasons people in Iraq have shied away from using traditional financial services, the company noted. To get over trust issues, Ideal Payments said it partnered with one of Iraq’s most trusted financial institutions, with a proven track record in the payments industry.
Banks, corporates and even regulators now recognize the imperative to modernize — not just digitize —the infrastructures and workflows that move money and data between businesses domestically and cross-border.
Together with Visa, PYMNTS invites you to a month-long series of livestreamed programs on these issues as they reshape B2B payments. Masters of modernization share insights and answer questions during a mix of intimate fireside chats and vibrant virtual roundtables.
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