The First Iraqi Bank is the Latest Banking System Technology in Iraq and the region, Leading the Country to a Digital-First Cashless Economy

Iraq is getting close to keeping up with global trends in terms of banking services and technology despite primarily being a cash-based economy. With the rise of Iraq’s economic growth, the government has been developing necessary policies to accommodate and adopt new technologies, including digital banking.

Entrepreneur and philanthropist Kawa Junad took this shift and Iraq’s great potential as an opportunity to acquire new technologies and transition from being a cash-based society to becoming a fully digital cashless economy. With his expertise and years of experience in the telecommunications industry, he led the establishment of Iraq’s first digital bank, the First Iraqi Bank (FIB).

First Iraqi Bank As A Breakthrough Bank in Iraq

Through success in developing FastPay, Iraq’s quickest, most convenient, and safest mobile wallet currently, Junad continues to lead the country towards adopting financial technology by establishing the FIB.

“We had an opportunity to come up with new technology, and we took this opportunity to introduce the latest technology available right now. We want to shift the Iraqi financial world to the highest level and make Iraqi people’s lives more convenient and sufficient. Our main goal is to turn it into a cashless economy,” Junad explains.

FIB features combined technologies from the west and east in one digital platform. Junad admired Eastern payment apps and monitored how they transferred from traditional banking to digital payments, making it the basis for accommodating the Iraqis’ demands and needs.

FIB also provides a full scope of banking services on its app and completes the customer experience by assigning each user an International Bank Number (IBAN) to allow cross-border transactions. It also introduces transactions without any third-party involvement, which helps the Iraqi people save up when they don’t have to pay for unnecessary fees. Junad and his team are also soft-launching their new service, electronic payment services through QR code scanning. 

Although Junad projects that it will take some time for other unbanked neighboring countries to adopt the cashless system, he is confident that the inception of the digital banking technology will be a leap forward to make these countries more advanced.

Junad also adds, “We always create win-win solutions. We never do what’s happening now, but we look to the future and create what is needed for then.”

The First Iraqi Bank founder Kawa Junad envisions a great future for Iraq

Throughout Junad’s twenty years of combined capabilities and expertise in the telecommunication industry, his main goal was to improve the country and the lives of the Iraqi people by providing them with innovative technologies.

With this in mind, he initiated many groundbreaking projects. These include establishing the first telecommunications infrastructure in Kurdistan in partnership with the Ministry of Telecom in 2005 and replacing old copper connections with fiber which provided better telecom services. At the time when Iraq was still on 2G connection, he launched Fastlink that successfully transferred Iraq from 2G to 4G LTE, and with his Newroz Telecom company, he inaugurated the first and only interconnection between Iraq and the international fiber network. This became the first 4G-LTE network in Iraq and the 1st standalone LTE network in the middle east. 

Currently, Junad’s companies are serving over 1 million subscribers and earning almost $200 million in annual revenue.

Because of Junad’s undeniable success, The Global Capacity Awards recognized him and his achievements multiple times –  Best Middle Eastern Project in 2015, Best 4G Deployment in 2017, and Project of the Year in 2018.

These are all results of Junad and his team’s passion and firm belief in the future of technology. His massive impact on the telecom and internet industry revolutionized the region and will continuously adapt to the people’s needs to maximize available technologies. 


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