Book an appointment with us, or search the directory to find the right lawyer for you directly through the app.Find out more
We are excited to share the latest edition of the Law Update, beautifully and appropriately titled “Sustainable Horizons: The Saudi Arabian Vision.” Giving special honor to the Kingdom’s 2030 vision, this update focuses on a collection of both informative and inspiring articles.
For those in construction, you can learn about how the tendering environment impacts risk-pricing for contractors, the updates on the legal framework of the construction industry and how contractors can protect themselves against financial difficulties.
There is good news too from the kingdom’s banking sector, from which the practice of “Open Banking” is being pushed for! But what is open banking? We’re answering that too.
Also . . . Are there any women trail blazers in Saudi Arabia you can name? We’ll help you with that. We cover how the Middle East has been making strides in empowering women in the entrepreneurial space,most notably in STEM fields.Read the full edition
Qatar Central Bank (“QCB”) has issued Circular No. 23 of 2021 pursuant to which it has issued the Payment Services Regulations (“Payment Services Regulations”). The Payment Services Regulations came into force on 15 September 2021.
For the first time, the QCB seeks to formally regulate and supervise payment service providers (“PSPs”) who provide any payment services in or from Qatar identified as such in the Payment Services Regulations.
Generally, the Payment Services Regulations apply to: (i) services that have a clear payments nexus and pose systemic risk to the Qatar financial system; (ii) service providers who process funds or provide merchant acquiring services; and (iii) service providers who contract or deal with the consumer or the merchant in respect of payment services. More specifically, the following services are considered regulated payment services for which prior authorisation is required from the QCB:
PSPs providing the above general or specific payment services in or from Qatar are required to obtain a relevant license from the QCB after satisfaction of the relevant requirements set out for such license in the Payment Services Regulations.
Certain exemptions are set out in the Payment Services Regulations which either do not necessitate a license from the QCB or those services which do not constitute regulated payment services. These exemptions are as follows:
The Payment Services Regulations also include detailed provisions relating to the licensing and operational requirements of PSPs. These include requirements about corporate governance, corporate structure and capital requirements, performance and implementation security, risk management, AML/CFT/KYC requirements, outsourcing, licensing fees etc.
Additionally, the Payment Services Regulations provide certain special conditions regarding issuing E-money and E-wallets and set out limits for transactions that can be conducted using E-money.
The introduction of the Payment Services Regulations is a significant development in the banking and financial services industry in Qatar. These regulations govern and regulate areas that were previously not explicitly regulated. The Payment Services Regulations will have an impact on the business and operations of PSPs and other associated financial service providers and will require such entities to obtain a special licence and be under the umbrella of the QCB’s control and supervision.
The Payment Services Regulations are particularly relevant as FIFA World Cup 2022 is fast approaching and the relevant stakeholders, including financial institutions, are expected to have all payments and systems in place to facilitate the world-wide traffic coming to Qatar to achieve the vision of holding a cashless FIFA World Cup 2022.
Al Tamimi and Company has an unrivalled experience in the Middle East and North Africa region advising local and international financial and non-financial service providers that offer their diverse payment solutions in terms of setting up, licensing and compliance with local laws and regulations.
If you require further information, please feel free to contact us.
Partner, Head of Office, Head of Banking & Finance - Qatarm.email@example.com
To learn more about our services and get the latest legal insights from across the Middle East and North Africa region, click on the link below.