Qatari telecoms company Ooredoo is building up its mobile banking capabilities, expanding access to finance and banking services for previously unbanked sections of society in the country and other major markets. 

“We are increasingly working as an enabler of the sector, helping banks to reach out to customers, particularly to the unbanked, who find it easier to access a mobile phone than standard banking services,” said Abdullah bin Mohammed bin Saud al-Thani, chairman of Oooredoo, speaking at the Euromoney Qatar event held in Doha on 24-25 November.

The company launched mobile money services with Qatar National Bank (QNB) in 2010, and is now managing more than 1 million transactions a month in Indonesia, Qatar and Tunisia.

Al-Thani said he wants to further expand Ooredoo’s capabilities into e-commerce, microinsurance and microfinance products.

Revenue from data services represents more than 20 per cent of the total group revenue for the first half of 2014, and it is fast becoming the biggest contributor to revenue growth, he added.

Ooredoo recorded net profits attributable to shareholders of QR376m ($103m) in the third quarter of this year, marking an increase of 11 per cent on the QR337m recorded in the same period last year.