The closure of many of the bank branches in Qatar, as well as the temporary closure of money exchange houses and transfer service offices, has made us think of other ways to check our bank balance, pay our bills and send money back home.

Also known as internet banking or web banking, online banking is an electronic payment system, where customers of a bank or other financial institution can conduct a range of transactions through the financial institution’s website. The banks in Qatar have a good online presence and offer a multitude of web-based services, in keeping with international standards.

There are a variety of services you can do online: monitor accounts and keep up to date with transactions, transfer funds between personal accounts, pay a third party both locally and internationally, manage investments and savings plans, check loan applications and repayments, order a cheque book – even change your username and add a profile picture!

These services are also usually available in a number of languages, to cater to Qatar’s diverse population, and can be accessed 24/7. Using online banking is safe and once you’re set up, you can log on via a computer, laptop, tablet or mobile phone. Thanks to Qatar’s excellent internet penetration, it has never been easier to control your finances.

The exchange houses were ordered to close from 26 March 2020, as a measure to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Further to this, the Ministry of Administrative Development, Labour and Social Affairs (MADLSA) has requested companies educate their employees about online remittance services as a substitute to these exchange houses, whether this be via the internet, an app, or platforms such as Ooredoo Money and Western Union. Entities also need to ensure domestic helpers are informed about the availability of online remittance services.

Bank customers should look out for messages from their banks confirming what services are available and how these can be accessed. Setting up online banking and downloading apps are easy things to do, and within a short period of time will allow the user to perform a number of functions – you will generally only need a few pieces of personal information (date of birth, QID and so on) and a password and/or the PIN for one of your debit/credit cards. Enable the fingerprint option on your phone (if available) and this will speed up the process even more.

Governing body Qatar Central Bank (QCB) continues to oversee the sector in conjunction with other government departments and ministries. Just this week QCB launched the Qatar Mobile Payment System (QMP), a cashless and cardless payment gateway within Qatar, allowing users to set up a digital wallet to make payments electronically. This will work in tandem with online banking and apps.

Whatever your need, electronic transactions are quick, secure and safe. Need more information or require assistance? Simply call the bank’s contact centre or the exchange house for help.

For more information about the banking sector in Qatar, visit Banking and Commerce.

Author: Sarah Palmer

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