The First Iraqi Bank is Iraq’s First Digital Bank. Founder Kawa Junad Shares Insights on the Breakthrough

The First Iraqi Bank is Iraq's First Digital Bank. Founder Kawa Junad Shares Insights on the Breakthrough

Technology has drastically changed the banking industry. From the traditional deposits in physical locations, clients can now conduct banking transactions from computers or mobile devices. Digital purchases have also experienced a rise in demand, making businesses prioritize cashless modes of payment.

Unfortunately, not all countries benefit from this technological advancement. Iraq, for example, remains a cash-based country. The International Trade Administration shares that less than 20 percent of Iraqis have bank accounts, and most banks are only used as exchange houses and ATMs.

This economic climate sparked Kawa Junad’s vision to shift the Iraqi financial world to adopt digital financial technology and improve the lives of many Iraqi people, making it more convenient and efficient.

Kawa Junad is the Founder of First Iraqi Bank (FIB), a breakthrough digital bank and a new financial ecosystem that would allow Iraq and other neighboring regions to enter the world of financial technology with the assurance of having a solid advanced foundation.

FIB as a Game Changer in Iraq’s Growing Financial Technology

Mr. Junad understands the need to develop financial technologies in Iraq. Inspired by his success in building FastPay (currently Iraq’s quickest, safest, and most convenient mobile wallet) and the rise of digital banking globally, he established the first digital bank in Iraq, the First Iraqi Bank (FIB).

FIB combines all the latest technology in banking and payment solutions from Western and Eastern countries in one digital banking platform. It utilizes how digital banking is done in other countries, including bank-to-bank payment through QR code scanning.

It provides a full scope of online banking services to the Iraqi population and aims to expand its operations worldwide. Although FastPay can provide various payment solutions, First Iraqi Bank completes the customer experience by assigning each customer with an IBAN (International Bank Account Number) to allow cross-border transactions.

FIB also aims to bring financial freedom to Iraqi people by introducing a direct payment processing system with fewer or close to no third parties involved. This is another innovation, especially for Iraq and other countries that heavily rely on third parties to process payments with merchants.

As Kawa Junad explains, “What we are introducing now in Iraq is different. We are eliminating the third parties when it comes to direct payment processing between any bank inside Iraq and all other countries that use the same technology for internal processing. It will result in no processing fee because it’s all internal payment. Users will also have their data safe with them because they do not need to share it with third parties anymore.”

Vision On The Changing Future

Mr. Junad’s 20 years of combined capabilities and expertise in the telecommunication industry embark on his journey to provide top-tier technological solutions in Iraq and rethink the entire communications and landscape of the country.

“We know exactly the needs and try to invent something new even if it’s not available. Instead of going through any legacy in that business, we develop something that accommodates the market’s needs. We always create win-win solutions. We never do what’s happening now but look at the future and create what is needed for then,” Kawa Junad shares.

Throughout his career, his main goal was to improve the country and life for the Iraqi people by providing them with innovative technologies. He took the opportunity of Iraq’s potential and the changing and developing government policy to accommodate and adopt new technologies to advance the country’s financial banking system.

Mr. Junad expounds, “We used the opportunity to lead the evolution of Iraq’s financial banking system and bring it to the top. FIB will be the reason that in the next five to 10 years, the unbanked countries you see right now will be at the top of the list when it comes to the digital banking service and payment processing services. It will be expanding very quickly to other countries as well.”

His massive impact on the telecommunication and internet industry changed the region years ago. Now, Mr. Junad leverages the current customer demand for advanced, secure, and affordable banking services and solutions in the country. He is undoubtedly an integral part of the significant transformation in Iraq’s banking industry.