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AFAQ Participants

Who can become the Participant in AFAQ services?

Participants of AFAQ should be:
1-Central Banks of the GCC Countries
2-Financial Institutions
3-Subsidiaries of Financial Institutions

Eligible criteria for a Financial Institution to join AFAQ service?

A financial institution should:
1- Hold a local settlement account with their respective local central bank
2- Member of the Domestic RTGS of their respective local central bank
3- Comply with AFAQ service requirements

Preparation and Onboarding Process

What are the phases to undergo joining AFAQ service?

1- Preparation Phase.
2- Testing Phase.
3- Onboarding Phase.

What is the basic preparation for Joining AFAQ service?

Financial institutions in the GCC countries must:
1-Provide the onboarding plan with the local central bank.
2-Preparation of technical and operational procedures.
3-Completing the necessary tests.
4-Onboarding certification completion.

What will be the estimated time to complete all the phases?

Maximum 2 to 3 weeks to complete all the phases and can be shorter based on the readiness and preparation of the Financial Institutions.

Network and Connectivity

What type of network used in the AFAQ service?

• The network in AFAQ is a private network to connect all participants in GCC countries.
• The private network has encrypted connection to ensure the sensitive data is safely transmitted.

Does AFAQ service have API connectivity?

Yes, the AFAQ service has API connectivity exchanging payment and non-payment messages through payment gateway applications.

Does AFAQ service support STP (Straight Through Processing)?

Yes, the settlements/rejections/cancellations/requests adhere to the Straight Through mechanism, and all the transactions are electronically captured and process until the final decision.

Payment Flows and Types

What standards does AFAQ follow?

AFAQ follows ISO 20022 standards.

What types of Payment message types will be supported in AFAQ service?

MT103 / Pacs.008 – Single Customer Credit Transfer
MT202 / Pacs.009 – General Financial Institutional Transfer
MT202 RTRN / Pacs.004 – Return Transfer

Exchange Rates

How AFAQ service manages the FX rates across all central banks in GCC countries?

Central banks provide AFAQ services with approved FX rates on daily basis.

Is the exchange rate will be fixed within the day?

Yes, national central banks will feed AFAQ service with the official rates and will not be changed during the day.

What is the FX rate of the return payments in AFAQ service?

The return payments must have the same exchange rate and currency amounts as in the originally received payment with no deductions.

Services and Benefits

What is the list of services and currencies available in AFAQ?

Cross-Currency Service:
• Currencies included AED, BHD, SAR, and KWD currencies

What are the benefits will the financial institutions receive for using AFAQ service?

Financial services will receive list of benefits highlight in below points:
• Real time gross settlement.
• fixed exchange rates by GCC central banks.
• Data privacy, Private and secured network.