A shift in digital service enhancements
CIB is at the forefront of innovation in Egyptian banking through its involvement in a number of initiatives designed to accelerate digital transformation.
The McKinsey report African banking after the crisis notes that the accelerated adoption of remote services by customers this year during the coronavirus crisis will require banks to upscale their digital capabilities. The firm’s May 2020 Africa consumer sentiment survey also found that up to 40% of consumers expected to increase their use of digital channels even after ‘normal’ life resumes.
CIB has introduced a variety of digital service enhancements in recent years. In 2019 the bank introduced a virtual assistant – Zaki the Bot – one of the first of its kind in the Egyptian banking industry and making CIB the first bank in Egypt to introduce a chatbot that supports both English and colloquial Arabic.
Zaki uses advanced artificial intelligence to assist customers, gather key data and help CIB revolutionize digital banking. CIB is working on expanding Zaki’s services to corporate and business banking customers, where the chatbot can provide smooth, real-time support for product inquiries.
There was a 67% year-on-year increase in the number of transactions made through the portal last year, a 69% increase in the customer base, and the value of transactions made reached EGP160 million.
CIB also launched QR code payments last year. Mobile wallet usage in Egypt is growing rapidly and the bank launched QR acceptance services to select businesses that accept QR code payments through digital mobile wallets, reducing payment processing costs for merchants – a key enabler of payment business growth, especially for very small traders.
In 2019, the Smart Wallet’s customer base increased by 65% year-on-year to 625,167. The value of transactions proceeded via Smart Wallet reached EGP1.4 billion as of December 2019, a market share of 5%.
CIB has benefitted from the Egyptian central bank’s pilot project to enable bank accounts to be opened electronically and the government’s decision to allow citizens to pay for government services via e-payment.
The bank reached an agreement that enabled customs, tax and other government authorities to receive payments through the E-Pay portal. There was a 67% year-on-year increase in the number of transactions made through the portal last year, a 69% increase in the customer base, and the value of transactions made reached EGP160 million.
A central source
The CIB Innovation Lab is the fintech and entrepreneurial hub of Egypt’s banking sector. It contributes to incubators and accelerators with workshops, a mentorship community and support for key events in the sector.
In addition, CIB’s entrepreneurs engagement programme supports start-ups that provide fast and agile solutions by helping them transform their offerings into a product line to serve CIB’s departments. The programme extends CIB’s resources and brand recognition to the start-ups while enriching its market value proposition via unique offerings.
In December 2018, CIB announced the establishment of CVentures, the first corporate venture capital firm in Egypt primarily focused on investing in transformational fintech start-up companies and next generation financial services platforms.
CVentures predominantly participates in Series A and Series B investment rounds in Egypt, the Middle East, Africa and other highly regarded cross-border market economies, in addition to considering seed investment rounds across similar markets.
CVentures was established to complement CIB’s innovation agenda and generate superior investment returns. It has primarily invested in transformative fintech platforms capable of enhancing CIB’s digital transformation strategy – including companies with best-in-class products and services, scalable business models and disruptive propositions – resulting in improved cost efficiencies, complementary revenue streams and smart banking solutions powered by next generation customer experiences.
A first of its kind
In July 2019, CIB became the first – and still the only – representative of Egypt's private sector to become a member of the Digital Economy Task Force (DETF), a joint venture between the African Union and the European Union to achieve cross-border integration and cooperation across Africa.
The DETF is focused on improving access to affordable broadband connectivity and digital infrastructure, digital skills, digital entrepreneurship and e-services. It brings together stakeholders from government, civil society, financial institutions and other segments to further reinforce the development of policies and recommendations, reinforce synergy between initiatives and create coordination structures on national, regional and continental levels across Africa.
This invitation cemented CIB’s position as a leader in the development of the financial sector and the digitization of banking services, ultimately leading to financial inclusion. Through this platform, the DETF seeks to establish its goals by developing policies and recommendations to create alignment at national, regional and continental level and ensure synergies between the initiatives under implantation.
The platform enables CIB to play a pivotal role in the African continent’s digital transformation and Egypt’s national and regional aspiration.