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Qatar Cards & Payments Market Report

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  • Published Date: May 2022


A comprehensive overview of Qatar's card payments market with insight into consumer banking and clearsighted commentary from industry experts backed up with extensive and relevant data.
The report explores the Qatar card payments market covering infrastructure payment preferences, consumer payment trends and the growth of online payment systems.
As well as Qatar credit card reports our industry watchers chart the development of mobile payments, including proximity and P2P payments.
Historically a cash-based society, the dual pressure of the pandemic and the FIFA World Cup have forced the hand of financial institutions in Qatar to go digital,
One result has been a massive uptake of cashless payments, now supported by the new Qatar Mobile Payments System. As with other markets in the region, financial inclusion is a priority for the authorities, with a legally enshrined wage-protection system binding salaries to the banking system.
Domestic firms continue to hold sway, while sharia-based financial products are the norm for many.

What you will learn from this Qatar payments report:

How the payments environment has evolved.
The rise of contactless, cashless modes and mobile payments.
How credit and debit cards are used, with profitability indicators.
E-commerce payment trends in the light of BNPL and card innovations.
Mobile proximity payments data and commentary on app-based solutions.
The credit card profitability mechanism is one of the world's most profitable markets.
How credit/debit cards market shares have been changing.
The merchant acquiring landscape, including MSCs and processor relationships/shares.
Notable laws and regulations, key statutory authorities and credit bureaux.


  • Occupying a small peninsula in the Persian Gulf, the State of Qatar is rich in oil and gas.
  • Qatar is a member of the Arab League and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), emerging last year from four years of diplomatic isolation in the region after a dispute with Saudi Arabia and some of its allies.
  • The large migrant-worker cohort and uneven distribution of wealth mean that financial services are often targeted at a small percentage of the population.
  • The government has taken several initiatives to encourage electronic payments in the lead-up to November 2022's FIFA World Cup.
  • Consumer appetite has led the country's banks to fast-track the digitalisation of their banking services.
  • The Qatar Mobile Payment (QMP) System, launched in 2020, enables immediate mobile payments around the clock.
  • Cards are the most popular cashless payment method in Qatar
  • Contactless acceptance has soared since the arrival of Covid.

Qatar Payments Research | Report Contents


Payments environment.
Cards market.
Fintech and mobile payments.
Credit card profitability.
Merchant acquiring.
Regulatory environment.

Qatar Country Report Data Tables
(All 2016-25F unless otherwise stated)

1: Demographic and economic indicators.
2: Ownership of key consumer devices.
3: Internet usage by population.
4: Access points: 2016-23F.
5: B2C e-commerce payment methods: 2016-23F.
6: Total card payment metrics.
7: Contactless cards metrics.
8: Credit card numbers.
9: Total credit cards metrics.
10: Credit card profitability indicators.
11: Debit card numbers.
12: Debit cards metrics.
13: Mobile proximity payment metrics: 2017-25F.
14: Profit pool: credit card numbers, billed volumes, outstandings, interest incomes, net interest revenues, merchant revenues, card fee revenues, other non-interest incomes, total revenues, net credit losses, operating expenses, total expenses, pre-tax profits, merchant service charges, rollover rates, APR, net credit losses to outstandings, operating costs to revenues, ROA (pre-tax profits to outstandings).

(All 2016-23F below unless otherwise stated)

15: Networks' credit card market shares.
16: Credit card interchange fees by network.
17: Networks' debit card market shares.
18: Debit card interchange fees by network.
19: Key credit card issuers' market shares by credit card numbers: 2018-23F.
20: Key issuers' market shares in credit card outstandings: 2018-23F.
21: Key debit card issuers' market shares by debit card numbers: 2018-23F.
22: Merchant acquirer credit card market share: 2022E.
23: Credit card merchant service charges: 2016-25F.
24: Merchant acquirer debit card market share: 2022E.
25: Debit card merchant service charges: 2016-25F.
26: Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships: -
27: Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships: -
28: Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers: 2022E.
29: Credit card acquiring processor market shares by the number of POS transactions: 2022E.

Qatar Country Report | Selected Extracts

Payments Environment
Qatar is steadily turning from a cash-based society to one where demand for electronic payments is increasing and expected to increase substantially during November 2022's FIFA World Cup.

Cards Market
Historically a cash-based society, Qatar's payment card market has seen significant development in recent years. Total card issuance has increased by almost a third since 2016.

There has been significant growth in total e-commerce turnover over several years, accumulating to record spending in 2021.

Fintech and mobile
The major commercial and Islamic retail banks offer mobile banking services, including bill payment, depositing funds and overseas remittances.

Credit Card Profitability
Qatar has a highly profitable credit card market, thanks to the affluent nature of the customer base.

Card Networks
Visa and Mastercard are the two principal networks operating in Qatar, with Diners Club and American Express having a marginal market share.

Qatar's banking system has 18 licensed banks, of which eleven are domestic institutions and seven come from overseas.

Merchant Acquiring
There are three key acquirers operating in Qatar, with Commercial Bank of Qatar (CBQ) and QNB dominating the market.

Regulatory Environment
QCB: Qatar Central Bank is the central bank of the country, responsible for the overall stability of the financial system.

Qatar Payments Report | Entities Referenced

American Express
Apple Pay
Arab League
Barwa Bank
Commercial Bank of Qatar
Competition Protection Department
Customer and investor protection rules
Diners Club
Doha Bank
Dukhan Bank
Dun & Bradstreet
FIFA World Cup
Fitbit Pay
Garmin Pay
Gulf Cooperation Council
International Monetary Fund
International Telecommunication Union
Ministry for Commerce and Industry
Ministry of Transport and Communications
National ATM and POS Switch
Payment Services Regulations
Planning and Statistics Authority
Qatar Airways
Qatar Central Bank
Qatar Credit Bureau
Qatar Financial Centre Regulatory Authority
Qatar Information Exchange
Qatar International Islamic Bank
Qatar Islamic Bank
Qatar Mobile Payment System
Qatar National Bank
Real Time Gross Settlement System
Standard Chartered
Wage Protection System
WeChat Pay
World Bank
World Cup


Argus Advisory Research reports deliver invaluable market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit throughout the Middle East. Analysts and researchers use both primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and Middle East experts.

See more Middle East Country Reports or explore the full range of worldwide cards & payments reports available for markets worldwide or view our latest report updates.

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