MEbank offers PDA banking

The retailing banking operation of Emirates Bank International (EBI), MeBank, has been prompting its personal digital assistant (PDA) banking channel over the five days of Gitex.

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By  Matthew Southwell Published  October 23, 2003

The retailing banking operation of Emirates Bank International (EBI), MeBank, has been prompting its personal digital assistant (PDA) banking channel over the five days of Gitex.

The service, which was introduced on Sunday, enables customers to access a variety of services including account statements, summaries, deals inquiries, fund transfers, utility bill payments, exchange rates, fixed deposit rates and saving/currency passports.

"We're the first and only local bank that is providing this service," says Mohammed Al Jallaf, senior manager, electronic banking services, Emirates Banking Services. "We are constantly looking to use IT to innovative with our services. We introduce a new service every quarter," he adds.

MeBank is able to rollout electronic channels rapidly due to its integrated infrastructure. The bank has a collection of Sun servers in the bank end, WebLogic as its middleware and an Oracle database. By using an object orientated development environment, the development team is able to take existing components and reuse them when developing other customer channels.

"Our infrastructure makes delivering new services fairly easy, we can just attach a new channel," says Al Jallaf.

MeBank took the decision to introduce its PDA banking channel based on customer feedback. However, Al Jallaf doesn't believe that the take-up of the service will happen overnight.

"These sorts of [internet] services are being requested more by our customers. But it will be like when we introduced out internet banking in 1996. At that time, demand was very slow, but we have seen it really take off in recent years," he explains.

By introducing services early, MeBank is able to steal a lead on its competitors in the local market and gain valuable experience. For example, the bank has learned in terms of security and customer behaviour since it introduced its internet banking channel.

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