*Above | Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait’s head office in Safat Square, Kuwait City
The greatest challenge for a retail banking institution today is staying relevant and distinct in a highly competitive environment. Historically, banks differentiated themselves on rates offered to customers, but with the passage of time and the opening up of global financial markets, the cost of borrowing has become a less important parameter in distinguishing between banks. Today, service and innovation are at the forefront of the retail business.
At Al Ahli Bank of Kuwait (ABK), we believe in integrating customer needs with relevant products and services to ensure a simpler yet more engaging banking experience. By providing a broad range of products and digital services, we can make the banking experience more accessible and convenient to our customers. Delivering simpler banking has not been straightforward, but we know it is what our customers want. In 2017, we replaced our core banking system to optimise processes and enhance customer experiences, while simultaneously laying the foundation for continuous consolidation and expansion of our digital offering. Within a week of this launch, we released the biometric banking and facial recognition on the new platform.
As rapid developments in technology continue to transform the banking industry, ABK is determined to stay ahead of the curve and strengthen our position as a leader in innovative banking. It requires constant improvement in small increments that together create a transformative experience for the customer. In 2017, we announced the Tap n Go service, which enables our premium credit and prepaid cardholders to communicate with the POS devices, by tapping or waving the card on the NFC-enabled POS machine without the need to swipe or insert the card in the machine.
Earlier in 2018, we introduced our breakthrough Global View platform, which allows customers to manage multiple accounts through a single login point. With easy access through our mobile and internet banking, the platform delivers enhanced functionality to our increasingly sophisticated customers.
Across the ABK ecosystem, our philosophy is unwavering: “Re-imagining a Simpler Bank”. We have factored the end-to-end process in the delivery of this commitment. From the account opening process at the bank, which only takes only six minutes to set up, to the card being ready for delivery on the same day and reducing the account opening application form to three pages from 12 pages. For our customer, this is convenience. For us, we think of it as “simplicity in action.”
ABK’s digital offering has already reached a level of customer satisfaction where it is market leading. But we remain committed to evolving the offering to rise above our customers’ expectations. Strong alliances with prominent organisations such as Emirates Airline have also given ABK cardholders the opportunity to earn and redeem Skywards Miles for Emirates flights, by simply using their cards.
For the rest of 2018, we will continue working towards introducing alternate digital payments solutions to provide a simpler banking experience for our clients. With AI, big data, blockchain and much more to come, our digital enhancement strategy is gathering momentum and will offer an exciting new range of features to empower our customers with greater flexibility and simplicity.
The journey has only just begun. We will continue to set new benchmarks for customer service in the region and make life simpler for our customers.