Mobile Banking in Iraq: A thought started a decade ago

The business of banking has dramatically changed during the last ten years. The fast development of technology has affected the industry of banking around the globe. Banking has a pillar role in the development of the economic sector. The information technology revolution that the current century has seen had its great effect on the process of banking. Customers do not need to queue for services as often.  With the current involvement of the world wide web in the daily activities of our lives, it is only natural to utilize the internet in the process of banking.

Mobile banking is becoming the delivery of a self-service channel that helps banks to present information and also offer solutions to their own clients with more convenience via internet services technology. The development in mobile technology provides an outstanding outlet for the banking industry to provide ease of access to its services for its customers through their smartphones. 

In the developing nations of the world, it can find more than a billion people who do not have a bank account although they still have and use a mobile phone with a typical basis. Mobile banking is getting popular in countries where a large portion of the population is unbanked. In such places, banks are found mainly in the big cities. This requires the customers to spend lots of time traveling to reach the bank of a bank branch. 

Iraq was a country with poor banking penetration and the situation is changing fast with major initiatives taken by the Central Bank of Iraq in the last couple of years. The Central Bank of Iraq directed all licensed banks to introduce the Mobile Banking App in order to facilitate bank services for clients in September 2019.

After 2003, the Iraqi banking system slowly started to open up tp modern technology-based banking. The new government bank, Trade Bank of Iraq that came up after 2003 to facilitate international trade, especially imports to Iraq, is the first Iraqi bank to go for the centralized banking system. Credit card service was introduced in Iraq by Trade Bank of Iraq in 2005.  

In the midst of the recent thrust of the Central Bank of Iraq for mobile banking and the efforts being made by the banks to launch mobile banking apps and development of the mobile wallets by the mobile network operators suddenly took me down my memory lane today to the news articles published by Agence France-Presse (AFP) and Euromonitor carrying my interviews, inter se, in 2011: Iraq to bring banks to the masses – by mobile, Bringing banks to the masses by phone. It’s nice to see that the thought that started a decade ago is now blooming.

6 comments

  1. In Kenya they were doing “mobile” banking long before apps on smartphones did it. With their old school Nokias, as their telecom and banking virtually are monopolies, they can simply text via SMS and transfer monies that way. Here we are with our fancy 4G and iPhones, and they be doing it over old school 2g and SMS. Now THAT’S innovation 😮😮😮

    Liked by 1 person

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