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KFH-Bahrain launches new online bank

MANAMA, May 13, 2018

By Abdulaziz Khattak

Aiming to gain more clout in the cyber world, banks in Bahrain have started offering full-fledged digital services, and customers could be months away from seeing an entirely digital bank away from the traditional brick and mortar.

First it was Gulf International Bank which last month opened a digital-only Shariah-compliant banking service in Bahrain, called “meem” and now it's the turn of Kuwait Finance House- Bahrain (KFH-Bahrain), a leading Islamic bank in Bahrain, to join the fray.

Called Jazeel, which means ‘great’ in Arabic, the community-based platform is a revolutionary smartphone application by KFH-Bahrain that will allow customers to enjoy full-fledged banking services from the comfort of their homes.

The app is currently only for customers in Bahrain, but it will soon be offered in other GCC countries as well; it will allow KFH to grow beyond geographical boundaries," said Subah Abdullatif Al Zayani, the deputy head of retail banking, in an interview to Trade Arabia.

“It will take customers no more than five minutes to open a bank account from where they are, and only thing they would require is their smart cards and passports ready with them for verification. Once done, the account details will be provided to them instantly and the best part is that they will not have to visit a branch,” he remarked.

The fully-digitised E-KYC (electronic know your customer) process for all customer information is validated online via video conferencing through the application.

But what differentiates KFH’s digital platform from other banks’ is the self-development features, explained Al Zayani, adding that it’s an evolving platform and new features will be added with time – from social, community to financial services.

Without elaborating much on the kind of these services, he said, in addition to offering financial services, KFH wanted to add value to people’s lives and help them engage more with the community they are living in.

“And this will be done through upcoming self-development modules, which are very unique and never- before-seen and will include healthcare and education features. Through Jazeel, we will combine features that will target the self-development of people and help them enhance their lives and give back to the community,” observed Al Zayani.

These, he added, will be rolled out next month.

On Jazeel’s financial services, Al Zayani said the application will allow customers in Bahrain and eventually in the GCC, to not only open a Mudaraba-based savings account, Libshara account, but also access transactional and many other facilities and services.

The top official said the app was part of KFH’s consumer acquisition strategy to win over more retail customers and has been mainly targeted at the millennials and the tech savvy. "But that doesn’t mean it won’t appeal to the older generation," added Al Zayani.

To a question on how will people, who are more comfortable with face-to-face banking respond, he said people had similar apprehensions when e-banking was started.

Many said no one would use it, quite honestly, the customer evolves much faster than the financial institution, he added.

Al Zayanio said: "In the beginning there will be some hesitation but that will soon fade away and then customers will have more expectations from these banks. And if you are not at that level, you will fail to deliver to their expectations,” he stated.

“It’s not about matching the expectations of today but rather reimagining what can be done in the future, so that when the customer reaches that level, you are already there,” he added.

In terms of security for the app, Al Zayani said all industry standards had been strictly met.

"The platform provides a number of specialised custom-made features including forensic documents analysis, digital documents scanning including signature, facial recognition, selfie checks, create digital identify and many more," he noted.

These features allow for the ‘genuine verification’ of the documents scanned by the customers, via the application, in real time, and can immediately alert the bank of any tampering with the same,” he added.

Jazeel is available on Google Play Store and Apple App Store.-TradeArabia News Service




Tags: KFH-Bahrain | Digital bank |

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