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Central Bank of Iraq signs deal with Mastercard to boost digital payments

The Central Bank of Iraq signed an agreement with global payments company Mastercard to reduce the use of cash and promote digital payments in the country.

The agreement will help Iraq digitise its payment ecosystem, boost financial inclusion, encourage social-economic development and mitigate the risks of a shadow economy, the entities said in a joint statement on Monday.

“We are very much looking forward to working with Mastercard to advance Iraq’s digital transformation, beginning with the education sector,” Duha Mohammed, director general for payments department at CBI, said.

“We clearly recognise that the digital economy has a vital role to play … especially in enabling formal economic growth through a new payment ecosystem that is transparent, simple and effective.”

Iraq’s population of nearly 40 million is largely cash-driven, according to the World Bank. Almost 99.8 per cent of its $122 billion personal consumption expenditure was made in cash in 2019, the lender said.