Technology and society are changing at an unprecedented rate, which places businesses in an era of digital Darwinism. In a rapidly unfolding future, banks must transform with a new mindset, completely different leadership concepts and innovative business models.
Since the pandemic and the restrictions that followed, there has been a rapid adoption of digital banking services – a trend that is expected to continue as new technologies and products improve options for customers. At the National Bank of Fujairah, the digital transition that began before the pandemic is now accelerating, making digital the preferred choice for consumers.
The rise of digital banking
The bank’s technological overhaul, which is part of a digital strategy dating back to 2015, has already resulted in lower transaction costs, improved operational efficiency through automation and optimization, and a substantial increase in online banking. In addition, customers perform a wide range of their daily banking activities, such as applying for cards and financing or paying bills through online banking channels.
In a region where banks are often proud of the size of their branch networks, customers are increasingly turning to digital transactions / online banking. To date, more than 86 percent of outgoing remittances are now initiated through NBF’s online banking channels, and more than 70 percent of the bank’s customers have switched from traditional visits to online banking branches. In some processing areas, over 90% of transactions are now fully automated.
The National Bank of Fujairah is also transforming its branch network in the United Arab Emirates and investing in new products and services for its clients. The Bank’s Virtual Teller (VTM) allows customers to connect one-to-one with a live teller via real-time video, allowing them to complete virtually any transaction that can be done at any branch. by receiving personalized service. Due to the digital push, cash deposits at branches fell to 45.6%, which is over 65% earlier in the first nine months of last year.
Digital payments and electronic wallets
With much of the world moving online due to Covid-19, the bank launched a number of new products in 2020. This included Emirates Digital Wallet, launched last year under its business name, Klip. It marked a major milestone in the UAE’s push towards a cashless future, enabling person-to-person payments via mobile phones. The project is expected to eliminate 60 to 70 percent of cash in circulation, according to estimates. Klip’s deployment is expected to accelerate the use of digital solutions instead of cash and open up a host of related services for the unbanked. NBF is at the forefront of the country’s initiatives to become a cashless society as the UAE looks to the future.
In addition, NBF was also part of another initiative, eDirham Instant, a digital payment method that allows customers to securely pay for government fees and services advancing the cashless society initiative.
The bank also participated in the launch of UAE Trade Connect, a national blockchain platform, co-created by Etisalat Digital and seven other banks; this platform aims to help financial institutions fight fraud and duplication and tackle key issues in the trade finance space. The solution is one of the key steps towards financial and monetary stability, efficiency and resilience of the financial system and is aligned with the vision of the UAE government to bring futuristic technologies like blockchain enabling economic growth. .
Recently, NBF launched its electronic trading platform-NBFX. Expand the bank’s digital offerings, where it provides customers with a digital experience tailored to meet their cash flow needs and is available to conventional and Sharia-compliant banking customers, available 24/7.
SMEs are the backbone of the UAE’s economy, contributing around 52% of the country’s non-oil gross domestic product, according to an estimate by the Ministry of Economy in December 2019. Over the years, the bank has established an impressive track record in the SME Space as part of its vision to be the partner of choice for UAE businesses.
To support SMEs and promote their growth and revival, NBF has developed a new innovative platform co-created with SMEs called NBF CONNECT. The community platform serves as a one-stop-shop for members of SMEs, which includes access to a suite of services and solutions as well as knowledge-sharing capabilities.
The platform offers members exclusive features that have been tailored to their specific needs. A suite of business services provided by other SMEs, such as HR services, legal support, e-commerce and market management for the SME community to meet their business needs. NBF CONNECT is an important part of the business ecosystem as notable partners like Etisalat and Visa have partnered with NBF to offer a range of non-bank services to give SMEs the right tools and help them move forward on their journey. .
As a testament to the bank’s constant growth in the digitalization journey and the major overhaul of its online banking, NBF recently received the title of âMost Innovative Emerging Technology Implementationâ at the 2021 Banking Technology Awards from MEA Finance – a success notable for being the first bank in the region to roll up a centrally authenticated online banking platform with advanced features, improving customer experience and security.
NBF’s continued investment in digitization and innovation will ensure that the bank will continue to deliver differentiated customer service and profitability while creating new sources of business development for future growth.
Updated: September 26, 2021 5:00 a.m.