On the 5th of April, 2010, Qatar Central Bank (QCB) introduced the Qatari financial body to yet another era of payment excellence as it started running live the National Automated Clearing House Solution under project name "QATCH", provided by ProgressSoft Corporation, the leading provider of real-time payments and imaging solutions.
Following their acclaimed history of pioneering the world-first Electronic Image-based Check Clearing Solution, QCB unitized the know-how and expertise of ProgressSoft in project management and technical development, and successfully implemented and went live with the ACH system "QATCH". By connecting QCB to all banks in the country, this state-of-the-art solution enables banks to send and receive low-value bulk debit and credit payment transactions. The system is based on a simple, secure and reliable means for conducting payments via electronic transfer.
"ProgressSoft is determined to be the Premier Payment Solution Provider in the region. This project demonstrates our commitment to transform payments to a new paradigm. I must thank all of ProgressSoft team, as they are the true reason for such a continuous success," expressed Mr. Michael Wakileh, CEO, ProgressSoft Corp. "I am also proud of our partnership with our customers around the globe and I will make sure we will continue to build on these accomplishment," he added.
ProgressSoft developed "QATCH" upon considering the recent advancements in the global payment arena and implementing internationally accepted message formats (ISO 20022).
On the first day of the live-run, within a 3-hour window, 36 Direct Credit transactions were cleared and settled on with a value over 400,000 Qatari Riyal. The next day witnessed similar success over a full cycle business day, with 163 Direct Credit transactions that were cleared, with value exceeding of 2.7 Million Qatari Riyal.
Direct Credit is primarily used for processing payment of wages and salaries, but can also be utilized for a wide variety of other applications such as supplier payments, pensions, employee expenses, dividends and refunds. The most prominent examples of Direct Debit are for payments of utility bills, insurance premiums, installment loan payments, as well as governmental payments such as taxes.
Direct Debits are expected to appear into the system as the merchants and public become more aware of using the designed mandates which will be the source of such payments.
With the adoption of ProgressSoft's solution, QCB succeeded in achieving real-time exchange of interbank payment messages with the banks. The end-to-end clearing cycle results in accelerating transaction processing, reducing processing costs and banking fees and improving funds availability.