Iraqi People Welcomes Shift To High-Level Financial Technology Through Kawa Junad

Published March 10, 2023

The Covid-19 pandemic has caused a dramatic shift in the way people interact with the world around them. It opened opportunities for technology leaders and businessmen to explore digital innovations to create new products and services, adapting to the 'new normal.'

Contactless technology such as card payments, mobile payments, and biometric authentication has surged, allowing secure transactions without the need for physical contact, and providing a safe and convenient way for people to conduct everyday activities.

In reality, not all countries have such privileges. Iraq, for example, remains a cash-based country, but it has recently welcomed technological advancements in its banking and financial services that Kawa Junad has pioneered.

Kawa Junad is a successful entrepreneur and the founder of Newroz Telecom and First Iraqi Bank (FIB), two of the many innovative businesses in Iraq that have given Iraqi people better and modern banking and internet options.

New Technologies That Improve Lives

Kawa Junad's main goal was to improve the country and the lives of the Iraqi people by providing them with innovative technologies. With this motivation, he introduced Iraq to more advanced systems in the areas of telecommunication and banking, such as Newroz Telecom, FastPay, and FIB.

Newroz Telecom, a joint venture company established in 2007 in Erbil, Kurdistan, is the first to establish 4G LTE Technology in the region. After overcoming costly investments and economic struggles, Junad and his team successfully established 5,700 km of fiber over the entire region, leading to a powerful internet connection. This milestone granted Newroz Telecom the best award in the 2015 Global Carrier Awards. Today, the company provides fast and efficient internet service to its over 1 million subscribers.

Beyond telecommunications, Junad has also explored the banking and fintech industries to address the needs of Iraq's financial sector's needs and transition the country from being solely cash-based. Junad and his team of experts developed FastPay, an e-wallet application that lets its users "keep" their money through their mobile phones and use it for shopping, mobile and internet recharge, money transfers, and bill payments. FastPay now has over 400,000 subscribers, including personal, agent, and merchant accounts. This makes FastPay Iraq's quickest, safest, and most convenient mobile wallet.

Junad saw the potential for even bigger banking solutions through FastPay's unparalleled success, leading him to develop First Iraqi Bank (FIB), which he describes as "a new financial ecosystem that starts Iraq's entry into the world of financial technology."

FIB uses technologies adapted from the western and eastern parts of the world. It offers bank-to-bank payments through QR code scans, electronic payment services, transactions without third-party channels, and fast and hassle-free registration of a fully licensed bank account. FIB's establishment welcomes the shift of Iraq's financial world to the highest level, prepares it to enter a cashless economy, and makes the lives of Iraqi people more convenient and sufficient.

"We know exactly the needs of the people and try to invent something new even if it's unavailable. All these innovations are the result of our goal to always create win-win solutions. We never do what's happening now, but we look forward to the future and create what is needed for then," Junad explains.

Innovations That Extend To More Nations Through Kawa Junad

Kawa Junad's 20 years of industry experience proves his huge impact on Iraq's telecommunication and internet industry in Iraq. Despite the challenges and hindrances, he has remained dedicated to his goal of helping the Iraqi people experience a better quality of life through the availability of modern technologies.

Junad's achievements have garnered him global recognition through The Global Capacity Awards. The esteemed awards include the Best Middle Eastern Project in 2015, the Best 4G Deployment in 2017, and Project of the Year in 2018.

Junad believes that his innovations and Iraq's changing policies benefit the people. He explains, "The Iraqi economy is rising again and will be one of the strongest in the next two or three years. Government policies are also changing and developing. They're accommodating and adopting new technologies. The government sees Iraq's potential, and the financial system is improving a lot."

Kawa Junad takes pride in Iraq's potential, leading to his drive to implement the new technologies they enjoy today. "I'm sure all the other financial institutions will follow us. And once they follow us, we can have this infrastructure available everywhere. They will be very attractive for investors to come and invest in Iraq. This is what we hope for," he shares. Lastly, Junad believes that these innovations will pave the way for other neighboring countries to follow through, allowing them to experience a shift to better financial technologies that will lead to economic growth and development.

First Iraqi Bank (FIB)

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