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Innovation To Unlock Technological Advancement In The Banking Sector
By Adel Ali Al-Malki, General Manager - Group Information Technology, Qatar National Bank
One of the major roles a financial institution plays is to use its ability to enhance the functions and mobility of the communities across its footprint. Financial institutions hold a duty to leverage the technological advancements which cater for its customers’ day-to-day needs.
Major financial services providers in the MENA region and worldwide play a pivotal and leadership role in providing top class customer service and helping the communities in which they operate. The top financial institutions are also generally committed to invest in relevant future technological innovations, stemming from their belief that the banking model will rapidly be shifting from traditional banking into an extended digital model covering their customers’ lifestyles and surrounding ecosystems.
Vision of Technological Advancement in the Banking Sector
As part of this responsibility, the top banks in Qatar have launched with the support of the Qatari government, represented by Qatar Central Bank (QCB), a national program to help in the enhancement of the financial inclusion of the national workforce, whereby Qatar has almost half of its population working on temporary mega infrastructure projects to build the country’s vision for 2030 and the hosting of the FIFA World Cup in 2022.
The top financial institutions in the country are embarking on a path of progressive strategic transformation through the adoption of digital innovation and by moving away from traditional investment in local physical presence to expand into new changing market needs and cater to the global customers across the globe.
Implementing a customer-focused strategy by extending the financial core services and include the ecosystem surrounding the customers’ lifestyles, such as reaching out to new marketplaces, integrating partners to their networks, and digitally connecting to service and product providers to offer advancements in the management of utilities payments, ecommerce, communications and transportation.
The Qatari financial sector is also exploring new methods for sustainable growth not just by enhancing and sustaining existing traditional revenue and cost efficiencies, but also through an innovative product bundling and payments ecosystem, including digital process transformation.
Banks in Qatar are increasingly partnering with Qatar’s leading telecom companies to build innovative financial platforms and payment systems
Another important pillar in this transformation strategy is the shift toward the offering of financial services in an environment that is conveniently secured through the leveraging of reliable biometric security and smart analytical risk-based systems, including voice, iris, facial and fingerprint recognition.
The financial sector in Qatar is also determined to shift its investment toward digital platforms and branch transformation in a manner that guarantees the provision of effective management and maximum customer satisfaction in an intergenerational manner while pushing forward with the global expansion of the Qatari banking footprint.
Partnership with a Major Telecom Companies in Qatar
Banks in Qatar are increasingly partnering with Qatar’s leading telecom companies to build innovative financial platforms and payment systems that demonstrate their enduring commitment to serve the community. Innovations in the field include services to facilitate bill payments and integrate the country’s mobile network into banking operations and procedures, thus providing customers with additional channels through which they can complete their banking transactions.
The Qatari banking sector’s approach to pushing the envelope has thus harmonized its efforts toward the provision of financial services in parallel with Qatar’s vision to expand and advance innovation in all fields. Such services are available under a structured education program that helps introduce them appropriately and aid the quick and seamless adoption of the platform.
The model used to push the advancements in the banking field are focused on being sustainable and equitable, providing all parties, including major corporates, the banks, the targeted customers, and other stakeholders, with short and long-term benefits.
Technology Adoption for Customers’ Engagement and Experience
In this push toward future banking solutions, multiple methods are applied to enhance customer experience and understand the customer’s digital banking needs, including the increasing use of artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze customer’s behavior and usage patterns for an enhanced and more relevant targeting. Branch networks are also transforming into a mix of digital self-service and physical assisted service centers to provide a convenient environment for banking customers.
In its continuous efforts to provide for its customers safe technological innovation, one of Qatar’s leading banks enhanced its security procedure by providing its customers’ access to its ATMs using biometric verification and authentication using iris scans, fingerprint, voice biometric and face recognition. More effort were also exerted to provide more low cost services for the masses and achieve more financial inclusion, as well as to and adopt the “mobile-first” strategy by releasing next generation mobile banking applications acting as portals for customers to transact, engage and disseminate information. This is coupled with the ongoing work to enhance and develop open banking API interfaces to enable future integration with non-traditional service providers and enhance the new to market remote video self-service customer experiences as part of an Omni-channel FINTECH experience.
The main target is to enhance the banking experience to customers, as branches develop more self-service portals for their customers to access. Directing and providing for the community a larger platform to be more self-reliant and make a larger spectrum of banking services more accessible at home, with the touch of a button.