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Medical Bills, Business Ventures Top List of Motivators for Private Lending in Iraq
[August 21, 2020]

Medical Bills, Business Ventures Top List of Motivators for Private Lending in Iraq

BAGHDAD, Aug. 21, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Qi Card, the leading electronic payment solution and national debit/credit card of Iraq, provides new insight into the financial well-being of Iraqi citizens by studying their motivations for seeking private loans. According to the data released by the Qi Card loan program, more than 85% of Iraqi's seeking private loans do so to either pay off a medical bill or fund a small business venture. 

"Since 2018, Qi Card has disbursed more than USD$4B in loans to more than 800,000 Iraqi citizens," said Bahaa Al-Hadi, chairman and founder of International Smart Card, the company that owns and operates Qi Card. "When we look at the motivating factors behind these loans, an interesting picture of Iraq emerges. We see Iraqi citizens inspired to create new services, innovate for their community and control their own professional and financial destinies; but at the same time, manystruggling to pay for some of life's basic needs."  

Small business financing comprises the majority of loans provided by Qi Card. A full 55.4% of loan holders indicate that financing a small project was their motivation for seeking a loan. This is followed by medication and health needs, which were cited by 29.9% of loan holders. The remaining 15% of loans were sought for purposes of repaying a loan from a friend or relative (8.2%), financing a home renovation (4.3%) and financing a vacation trip (2.2%).

"Qi Card is proud to support the Iraqi community with access to wealth-building opportunities that enrich people and the entire nation," continued Al-Hadi. "When we invest to make citizens' business dreams come true, we foster innovation that can lift us all."

About Qi Card

Qi Card is the leading electronic payment services solution in Iraq, which employs biometric identity as the cardholder verification method. Qi Card is operated and managed by International Smart Card "ISC," the most successful partnership in the history of Iraq. With its State Bank partners, Al-Rafidain and Al-Rashed, it has completed domiciliation of more than 7M citizens with its multi-biometric payment scheme. In just over 18 months, ISC was able to disburse 5T IQD in loans to over 800,000 Iraqi citizens. To date, ISC has an ecosystem of 17,000 POS and more than 6000 merchants using the Qi scheme to provide easy merchant funded installment and other commercial activities. ISC issues and acquires payment cards on behalf of fourteen affiliated banks in Iraq. Through its principal membership in Mastercard, ISC has now issued more than 1.8M Mastercard and is now the largest Mastercard provider in Iraq.

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