In an important first for the Iraqi market, Asiacell – the largest private Iraqi company and the first and only mobile telecommunications company to provide coverage for all of Iraq – today announced a major strategic partnership with AMWAL, a consortium of Iraqi banks.
Under the terms of the agreement, Asiacell, part of The Qtel Group of companies, will be the first mobile company to provide the people of Iraq with advanced commercial banking and transaction services that they can access via their mobile phones.
By deploying a mobile banking system in cooperation with AMWAL, Asiacell will enable its prepaid customers to use their handsets to directly purchase airtime; buy goods and services from registered merchants; check their bank account balances; and make mobile-to-mobile and bank account-to-bank account money transfers. All transactions will be linked directly with subscribers’ bank accounts at AMWAL member banks, using a highly-secure, reliable transaction system.
Commenting on this pioneering step, Dr. Diar Ahmed, Asiacell’s CEO, said: “Asiacell is proud to be leading the way in empowering the Iraqi people by giving them access to banking products on their mobile phones. Our ultimate goal is to provide all Iraqis with access to affordable banking services by leveraging Asiacell’s national network. This innovative mobile financial solution will enable Asiacell’s subscribers to enjoy convenient, secure and easy-to-use mobile banking services that are available 24/7 and all year around.”
He added: “Asiacell’s and AMWAL’s combined efforts towards bridging the information gap constitutes a major leap in developing Iraq’s technological capacity and corresponds with our national goals of helping advance the telecom sector in Iraq.”
In turn, Atheer Al-Qadhi, CEO of AMWAL, said: “Banks across the globe are seeking new solutions to reach emerging markets and shift market share from cash to electronic transactions. We at AMWAL believe that prepaid cellular technology’s phenomenal success demonstrates its effectiveness as the next step in banking services, and as such have partnered with Asiacell, a leading and well-respected mobile telecom operation, to offer new and nationally unprecedented banking services to the Iraqi nation. Through our multi bank approach, we aim to establish an ecosystem where cards and mobile channels can be deployed to drive electronic payments as a replacement of cash to the benefit of all Iraqis.”