Ideal Payments, a provider of payment solutions based in Baghdad, has launched a mobile payments app in Iraq.

Iraqi money transfer company Taif Money Transfer will operate the service, called Taif eWallet, whose technology is powered by Belgian mobile money company Monniz, Ideal said in a Sept. 6 news release.

Ideal is aiming its product at multiple agents, including retail merchants, e-commerce platforms, private companies and government institutions. It intends to provide a secure and fast payments and money management solution to consumer and business customers that would allow them to receive salaries, pay bills and make peer-to-peer money transfers with their phones.

The launch of the app brings the company “one step closer to our vision of digitalising payments in Iraq and serve the country’s unbanked population by reducing the cost, time, effort and risks associated with making cash payments,” it said in the release. “Our goal is to replicate the success of and the value created by mobile payment operators in developing countries, such as M-pesa”.

Iraq has a population of 35 million. According to Ideal, the economy is largely cash-based, with bank account penetration below 10% and debit card penetration below 3%.

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