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Qatar Country Report

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  • Published Date: October 2017

A comprehensive overview of payment cards, retail banking and merchant acquiring in Qatar.


  • Qatar has the third-largest natural gas reserves in the world. The oil and gas sector contributes around 50 per cent to the country's GDP and accounts for about 85 per cent of export revenues.
  • Qatar National Bank is the largest bank in terms of assets, holding nearly one-third of total banking assets in Qatar, followed by Qatar Islamic Bank, with a market share of 11 per cent.
  • Consumer lending in Qatar has grown at a robust pace since 2010. Total outstandings per household surpassed $70,000 at the end of 2016.
  • At the end of 2016, there were over 2.5 million payment cards in circulation in the country, of which two-thirds were debit cards.
  • In 2016, the debit card POS billed volume was 2.4 times that of credit cards. Debit cards spending exceeded that on credit cards for the first time in 2009.
  • Due to a greater focus on credit quality during the post-financial crisis period, credit card issuers have been targeting affluent and high net worth customers.
  • Net interest revenue on credit cards is low due to a declining rollover rate and low APRs; 95 per cent of credit card revenue is fee-based.
  • All credit and debit cards carry international branding. Visa is the leading network in both credit and debit cards segments.
  • Banks in Qatar have been actively promoting the use of credit cards through rewards schemes and promotional campaigns.
  • Major hypermarkets and large five-star hotels owned by the government holding company, Q-Hotel, account for a major share of the total acquiring business.

Qatar Country Report | Table of Contents

Demographics and Economy:
Outlines the key metrics and trends which influence the development of retail banking and payments in the country:

  • Population structure
  • Income
  • Mobile and internet use
  • Economic data

Retail Banking:
Explores the structure of the local banking system, its infrastructure and the leading players. Data includes:

  • Aggregate retail banking indicators
  • Bank branch, ATMs and POS terminals
  • The profitability of top banks

Consumer Finance:
Overview of consumer finance in the country. Categories analysed include:

  • Mortgage loans
  • Personal loans
  • Credit card loans
  • Vehicle loans

Credit Cards:
Industry-leading credit card coverage. We detail the past present and future of the industry through our data and commentary, including:

  • Market size split by consumer and commercial credit cards: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Profit pool analysis
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Debit Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume
  • Competitive landscape: networks, issuers

Prepaid Cards:

  • Market size: number of cards, transaction volume, billed volume


Verisk 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 72 markets worldwide.

To find out more or to discuss subscription options, please email: research_enquiries@verisk.com or telephone: +44(0)20 7337 4200.