Answer ... The Iraqi financial sector offers substantial growth potential. Technology and mobile banking are highly attractive, especially given the numerous out-of-date banking practices. The Iraqi population is largely unbanked, but despite the challenges, fintechs are contributing to the empowerment of this population and are attempting to move the economy from a cash-based economy to a digital economy.
However, fintechs face many challenges, including the following:
- the lack of specific legislation and regulation governing fintechs;
- the need to register their business as an incorporated company, with all of the related financial and time constraints, including the need for a physical address;
- difficulties in attracting the right skills and talent; and
- difficulties in attracting foreign investment.
Security surveillance systems, e-governance, telecommunications, database management, internet services and electronic and mobile financing are reportedly government priority areas for investment.
At the time of writing (January 2020), draft laws on cybercrime and telecommunications and information technology have been prepared, but have not yet been enacted, and their content may be subject to review by the Iraqi Parliament before their enactment.