Mobile Phone Banking: Operate Iraq Bank Accounts
Information has come in regarding a new project in Iraq to set up mobile phone banking, thus enabling Iraqis to operate their bank accounts via their handsets.
Talks over the new project are currently being held between mobile operators (including Kuwait’s Zain) and Banks. With the initiative being to secure funds in Iraq and strengthen, the banking sector and apparently, enable Iraqis to manage their bank accounts with the use of their mobile devices.
In war-torn Iraq, about 70% of Iraqis own a mobile phone, whilst only 20% or 1 in 5 have a bank account. The AFP have reported that this new initiative is a part of a larger plan to combine Iraq’s banking system at an estimated cost of between $15-$20m.
In an article by CBR, Sinan al-Shabibi the Central Bank of Iraq Governor was quoted as saying “It’s a very important project” towards “increasing the capacities of private banking,” and also adding that the completion of the project is likely to be in the coming year.
Also as a part of the projects initiative to get Iraqis on board, they will receive a commission if they use their mobiles to withdraw funds from non-banking agents or to pay bills.