Islamic banks more discerning than conventional Western counterparts says Temenos
Islamic banks looking to deploy new technologies ahead of western banks
Islamic banks are leaving their Western counterparts behind in IT deployment, claims Dr Mohamed Goneid, business development manager for the Middle East and Gulf at Temenos.
"In the past, in the Middle East, we used to look at the West and try to emulate or copy what had proved successful there. Today, a lot of intelligence is gathered in the Middle East area for a number of reasons. Now, Islamic banks have very high profile people, they have the money, they have the budgets and they have the customers.
"So I believe, it will come to a point, and we've started to see this now, that our customers in the Middle East ask for new deployments of technology - new technologies and new ways of deploying them - even before their counterparts in the West, believe it or not! It is very common that our R&D comes to the ME to present very futurist concepts that even some banks in the West did not ask for," he added.
Speaking to ACN at the inaugural Middle East International Banking, Financial Technology and Services Exhibition (MEFX) Summit in Dubai, Goneid said Islamic banks were attracting high level IT talent as a rapidly growing industry, and that talent is demanding more intelligent systems.
"Historically, in 1982 when Islamic banking started, it was looked on as an exotic flavour of banking and the systems which were trying to support this early stage of Islamic banking were more or less ad-hoc systems which were made to be extremely cheap for the customer and without any sophistication - just book the transactions coming from Islamic banking and generate (maybe) the right account. We at Temenos decided to provide an extremely smart Islamic banking system because we believe that Islamic banks deserve a system which goes hand in hand with the intelligence deployed in the Islamic banking markets," he said.
Temenos, a Swiss-based provider of integrated modular core banking systems, aims to stay at the cutting edge with its Islamic banking systems, a strategy which is further demonstrated by its founding membership in the newly launched industry association, Banking Industry Architecture Network. Led by banks and vendors including Microsoft, SAP, SunGard and SWIFT, this independent body aims to "drive the creation of SOA standards for the banking industry".
"Our strategy is that our Islamic banking solution will never ever lag behind our conventional banking solution," concluded Goneid.