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Bank Muscat to offer e-services

Bank Muscat, fresh from a recently completed merger, has plans to implement new core banking software and develop electronic services.

Bank of Muscat is putting together plans to implement comprehensive e-banking services. Abdulrazak Ali Issa, the bank’s chief executive, confirmed the news this week at the ITP e-security roadshow, which visited Muscat on Saturday.

“E-banking is no longer a luxury but a necessity,” said Issa in a keynote presentation at the roadshow. “A customer is looking for a partner that can fulfill his complete financial needs.”

The development of e-banking services will likely go hand in hand with the deployment of brand new core banking software. The rollout will begin soon following the recent completion of Bank Muscat’s merger with Commercial Bank of Oman. No suppliers have yet been selected for the project.

Although e-banking services will take some time to deliver, possibly up two years, it’s believed that Bank Muscat will be one of the first banks in Oman to offer such services. The news shows that even more conservative markets in the region are embracing the Internet and planning for the emergence of e-commerce.

Issa said that factors delaying the spread of e-commerce in Oman include the current low level of Internet usage and fears over security. However, companies must embrace e-commerce, “to hold on to customers,” he said.

Bank Muscat has formulated several steps to help it maintain e-security. These include the drawing up of policies and procedures; the usage of passwords, firewalls and digital keys; disaster recovery procedures; and regular testing, monitoring and auditing of IT security.

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