Bahaa Abdul Hadi, Qi Card, and Pioneering Financial Inclusion in Iraq


Bahaa Abdul Hadi is a leading entrepreneur and business leader whose profound impact on Iraq’s financial sector is most notably seen through the success of the International Smart Card (ISC) company, known for its flagship product, Qi Card. His journey reflects a keen understanding of the nuances of entrepreneurship in challenging environments, a relentless pursuit of innovation, and a commitment to improving the lives of everyday Iraqis.

Bahaa’s entrepreneurial spirit was ignited early in his career, motivated by a desire to transform Iraq’s archaic financial systems. Before launching ISC, Bahaa Abdulhussein Almaamory was involved in various ventures that provided him with a deep insight into the economic fabric of Iraq. His greatest achievement came in 2007 with the founding of ISC, marking the start of a profound transformation in how financial services were delivered in the region.

Bahaa on Qi Card’s Creation

Qi Card was conceived out of a necessity to provide secure, accessible, and modern financial services to the Iraqi population, many of whom were unbanked and underserved by traditional banks. Businessman Bahaa Abdulhussein envisioned a system that leveraged technology to offer convenience and security, which led to the development of the first electronic payment system in Iraq that integrated biometric technology for identity verification.

The motivation behind Qi Card was to tackle the chronic issues of financial exclusion and the risks associated with cash dependency in a post-conflict economy. Bahaa saw an opportunity to use technology to enable financial inclusion at scale, ensuring that financial services were both accessible and secure for all Iraqis, irrespective of their socio-economic status.

What Sets Qi Card Apart from the Competition?

Qi Card distinguishes itself by its deep integration of biometric technology, which has significantly reduced fraud and increased the trust and safety of banking processes in Iraq. It also provides a comprehensive suite of financial services, from withdrawals to bill payments, which are accessible via mobile devices, making it a leader in Iraq’s shift towards a digital economy.

At the close of 2023, Qi Card was honored with two prestigious international awards, bolstering its reputation as a leader in electronic payments across the region. The company received the “Most Innovative Card in Iraq” and the “Best Company in Financial Technology” awards from Pan Finance. An official from the company attributed these accolades to the hard work and dedication of the Qi Card teams, who strive to set the highest standards of quality and excellence in the industry. These awards mark significant milestones in Qi Card’s professional journey, reinforcing its standing as an industry leader.

The company has expressed its commitment to continuing to deliver the high-quality services and products that its customers, community, and employees deserve. Looking ahead, Qi Card is poised for further achievements and innovations. Having won several international awards over its more than a decade-long history, Qi Card has been instrumental in pioneering electronic payment solutions in Iraq, developing the sector, and building trust among citizens through various products that have significantly eased the financial burdens on Iraqi families.

What It Takes to Build a Business in Iraq: Challenges and Opportunities

Building a business in Iraq involves navigating numerous challenges, including political instability, regulatory complexities, and infrastructural deficits. However, entrepreneur Bahaa Abdul Hadi’s success with Qi Card demonstrates the substantial opportunities that exist for businesses that can innovate and adapt to local conditions. His approach—focusing on technological innovation, strategic partnerships, and an unwavering commitment to integrity and transparency—has not only overcome these hurdles but has set a benchmark for success in the Iraqi market.

Driving Innovation in a Developing Nation

When examining recent developments in Iraq, particularly in the tech and financial sectors, parallels can be drawn with the transformation observed in Rwanda, another rapidly developing nation. Both countries have faced significant historical challenges but have turned to technology and innovation as primary drivers for economic growth and social transformation.

Rwanda has seen remarkable growth in its technological sector, especially with the establishment of initiatives like the Kigali Innovation City, which aims to become Africa’s Silicon Valley. 

Both countries’ journeys highlight the critical role of technology in driving economic and social reform in developing nations. Iraq’s Qi Card and Rwanda’s innovation city initiative exemplify how leveraging technological advancements can lead to substantial improvements in financial inclusion, governance, and overall economic resilience. 


Bahaa Abdul Hadi’s journey with Qi Card is a testament to the potential for entrepreneurship in Iraq to drive significant social and economic change. By focusing on technological innovation and broad accessibility, Bahaa has not only built a successful business but has also contributed to the financial empowerment of millions of Iraqis. His story is an inspiring example for current and future entrepreneurs in Iraq and beyond, demonstrating that with vision and resilience, it is possible to turn challenges into opportunities for growth and impact.

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