Qatar Implements Strict Mandate: Commercial Outlets Must Offer Electronic Payment or Face Temporary Closure

In a decisive move toward modernization and convenience, Qatar has set forth a stringent mandate, compelling all commercial establishments to integrate electronic payment options for customers, sans any additional charges. Failure to comply with this directive could result in temporary closure, a measure enforced by the Ministry of Commerce and Industry.

Saif Al Athba, the Head of the Inspection Section at the Commercial Registration and Licensing Department, emphasized the primary objective of these electronic payment services: to streamline transactions for consumers, ensuring seamless experiences without financial burden.

The initiative, rooted in the ethos of ‘less cash, more safety’, seeks to overhaul traditional cash-based transactions, mitigating risks associated with cash handling, such as counterfeit currency and theft. By embracing digital payment solutions—be it through bank cards, payment wallets, or QR codes—Qatar aims to propel its economy towards a cashless paradigm.

Under the purview of Decision No. 70 of 2022, as amended by the Minister of Commerce and Industry, commercial outlets are mandated to offer at least one electronic payment modality. This pivotal regulation aims to expedite transactions, eliminate cumbersome cash processes, and bolster security across financial transactions.

Furthermore, the Ministry has instructed commercial entities not to levy any additional fees on card-based transactions, ensuring equitable access to electronic payment methods.

Qatar Central Bank (QCB) stands at the forefront of this digital revolution, spearheading the development of cutting-edge payment infrastructure. The recent launch of ‘FAWRAN’, an instant payment service, underscores QCB’s commitment to fostering financial innovation and meeting the evolving needs of consumers and businesses alike.

The introduction of the Himyan Debit Card aligns seamlessly with Qatar’s overarching vision for a digitally-driven financial landscape. By enhancing e-payment solutions and promoting financial inclusion, Qatar propels itself towards a future characterized by seamless, secure, and efficient transactions.

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