The world’s best Islamic digital bank 2023: Mashreq Al Islami
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The world’s best Islamic digital bank 2023: Mashreq Al Islami

Mashreq Al Islami is proving year after year that an Islamic bank with industry-leading digital capabilities doesn’t need vast scale to disrupt the regional market.

Headquartered in Dubai, the bank boasts a rich history as a key driver of Islamic banking’s evolution in the region. Yet for a bank with a more than 50-year legacy, Mashreq is impressively adept at leaning toward the future.

One recent example of this is Mashreq’s partnership with the Higher Colleges of Technology, the United Arab Emirates’ largest applied higher education institution. It includes an annual Think Bank finance competition. The programme incentivizes business students to brainstorm new bank services, products and platforms and has injected a dose of Silicon Valley energy into the firm, according to Salman Ahmed, business manager of Islamic banking.

Such initiatives help the bank to stay on the radar of digitally savvy millennials and Gen-Z customers.

Ahmed-Abdelaal-Mashreq-official-960.jpg
Ahmed Abdelaal

In 2022, the share of digital transactions in Mashreq’s retail business topped 96%. In recent years, the momentum has evolved from technology driving change to customers demanding ever more of it, Ahmed explains.

Mashreq is the only Islamic player offering a programme like Salaam Rewards, which involves a customer’s entire banking relationship tabulated on a proprietary platform. Points can be redeemed via apps or at 1,800 point-of-sale machines across the UAE and beyond.

Across the region, Mashreq is in the vanguard of state-of-the-art mobile apps and self-service digital channels from ATMs, kiosks, specialized cheque-deposit machines and so-called ‘in the money’ transactions. It is also an Islamic industry pioneer in digital sales and other services involving credit cards, current and savings accounts, and personal loans – with all verification and decision making done in real time.

Interactive mobile and wearable interfaces like watches are commonplace among Mashreq’s customers. So is instant customer onboarding for personal finance, credit cards and the full range of accounts. At no stage of these processes does a customer need to engage with a person.

Across the region, Mashreq is in the vanguard of state-of-the-art mobile apps and self-service digital channels

This year, the bank is rolling out a 100% digital bank experience for all mass-market clients called Mashreq Al Islami Neo. It is also due to launch a 100% digital business banking platform – Mashreq NeoBiz.

The bank, under group chief executive officer Ahmed Abdelaal, is intensifying efforts to increase customer-initiated sales, eliminating end-to-end human involvement both to improve customer experience and to maximize internal efficiency. This will include raising the bar on its offering of Shariah-compliant digital trading and financing apps across the region.

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