Philippe Koebel, Senior Vice President, Emerging Markets and Indirect
Orange Business Services has signed an M2M solution agreement with Canny Quest International – the Dubai-based technology and business development partner of International Smart Card (ISC) in Iraq. ISC is the largest financial institution in Iraq. It provides financial transaction services including salary and pension e-payment services to government employees and private sector organisations. ISC’s four million holders of its debit card, the Qi Card, access services through terminals at points of service across the country.
ISC has created a new model for e-payment services using smart cards to deliver personalized services with sophisticated biometrics to authenticate customer ID and counter the risk of fraud. Orange Business Services provides SIMs that enable seamless connectivity to support ISC’s 6,000 terminals at points of service (POS) across Iraq; an additional 8,000 POS locations are planned at retail merchants across the country and will be online by mid 2016. ISC plans to roll out services to the Iraqi diaspora and to other countries.
The ISC POS terminals are connected to the card management system, which validates transactions through the Orange network. Orange interconnects with all the country’s mobile telecoms operators to ensure country-wide coverage and optimized signal quality. ISC customers can access a broad range of virtual financial account management services to access their money including smart cards (closed and open loop), mobile apps and wallets, and the Internet.
Bringing banking innovation to Iraq
ISC started operations in 2008 and the company’s flagship Qi Card is the first biometric international-standard card used in providing payment services in financial industries in Iraq.
Dr. Hasan Alkhatib, Managing Director of Canny Quest International, said: “Iraq is an attractive Greenfield market for innovation, and the country’s banking sector is underdeveloped, creating an opportunity for the deployment of new technology. Orange Business Services provides a business-critical part of our solution and enables us to monitor and control our POS terminals. It’s a technical and business partnership that allows us to access Orange’s technical competence, geographical presence and global expertise, along with local contacts and service. This service has the potential to grow and develop and positively impact the country’s GDP. Orange’s ability to connect and deliver services seamlessly and reliably is essential to our success.”
Orange Business Services works with some of the region’s leading banking institutions and has 100 banking customers in the Middle East and Africa region, including Ecobank, EmiratesNBD, and National Bank of Abu Dhabi.
Philippe Koebel, Senior Vice President, Emerging Markets and Indirect, Orange Business Services, added: “This new strategic partnership with Canny Quest International is supporting real innovation and a digital transformation leading to a new model for the banking sector in Iraq. It’s our first M2M application in the Middle East but more significantly, it’s making a real difference to people’s lives and we look forward to rolling it out to other countries through our extensive presence in the region.”