Emirates Islamic launches social banking

Islamic bank plans to offer Twitter banking services to communicate with customers

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Emirates Islamic launches social banking  The Twitter service means customers will be able to perform select transactions with a tweet
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  May 9, 2016

Emirates Islamic has announced the arrival of social banking in the UAE, where it will offer banking services on Twitter, claiming the title it is the first to do this in the region.

The service means customers will be able to perform select transactions, such as checking their balance inquiry, viewing last transactions and make inquiries about their accounts with a tweet. However to ensure the customers privacy and confidentially, the bank will respond to customers queries with a direct message.

Faisal Aqil, deputy CEO, consumer wealth management at Emirates Islamic said: "The introduction of banking via Twitter is a first for the Islamic banking industry and reinforces our continued commitment to set new standards of innovation in Islamic finance.

"Banking via twitter is especially relevant given the UAE's advanced social media and mobile phone penetration. With this new service, we are able to offer our growing customer base yet another quick and convenient method to access their banking requirements."

The bank has said the new service complements its existing digital channels, such as ATMs, 24-hour telephone banking, online and mobile banking, adding that it was the first Islamic bank in the region to launch a mobile banking app.

According to research house Gartner, banks are facing intense pressure to increase efficiencies and reduce costs while delivering next-generation digital services, but application vendors have been slow to respond to new requirements.

Gartner predicts that by the end of 2019, 25% of retail banks will use start-up providers to replace legacy online and mobile banking systems. New vendors are emerging to meet both customer and bank needs for channel integration and dynamic customer experiences that makes banking easier to accomplish on the devices customers want to use.

"Start-ups and emerging providers of digital banking platforms offer banks interesting opportunities for innovation," said Stessa Cohen, research director at Gartner. "However, CIOs must prepare to manage the challenges of evaluating and selecting new vendors that may not have proven track records in the financial services vertical or may simply be new and untried without an extensive customer base. It can be difficult for CIOs to justify investment in their solutions to their boards and regulatory agencies, but don't use that as a reason to exclude new vendors."

Digital banking platforms may include a broad range of capabilities - including financial management, payments, marketing, loyalty, analytics and customer communication management - that enable bankers to support a variety of customer experiences across any number of channels.

However Gartner adds incumbent vendors offer traditional online and mobile banking solutions and integration with core banking systems, but often do not support open architectures that decouple the presentation of services from the services and transactions themselves and, crucially, enable the bank to bring new and existing processes together to offer innovative digital services.

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