Digital banking needs bank, IT firms teamwork

Yacoub Al-Awadhi

MANAMA — Bahraini businessman Yacoub Al-Awadhi stressed the importance of the efforts made by Bahraini banks to accelerate the process of digital transformation and create the technological infrastructure to implement it.

He pointed out that the United Nations adoption of the Bahraini initiative to mark the fourth of December of every year an International Banks Day represents a favorable opportunity to shed light globally on the progress made in this field.

“We see increasing interest by the banking sector leaders to expand the establishment of digital banks that have become a global trend. The effective cooperation between banks and technology companies is important in building a sophisticated digital banking industry, and strengthening the reputation of the Bahraini banking sector.” Said CEO of NGN Al-Awadhi.

"We are witnessing in the neighboring countries the entry of global virtual banks that compete strongly with the traditional banks of the country due to its low operating costs, headquarters, branches and equipment, and the number of employees. It also provides quick services such as opening a new bank account, money transfer, etc. From this standpoint, I appeal to all Bahraini banks to quickly adopt the various paths of digital transformation entirely,” added Al-Awadhi.

Moreover, Al-Awadhi said that the banking industry is witnessing a fundamental transformation in the banking system, as a result of successive developments and innovations in the field of digital technology, which has provided banks with new perspectives towards the digital transformation in products, services and operations with a view to reaching a more comprehensive understanding of the financial consumer’s desires and work to meet their needs.

He pointed out that the digital transformation is an inevitable goal for banks, as it is linked to growth, continuity and interaction with the changes of the financial consumer. This transformation will lead to many requirements for change within the banking institution, whether in the technological structure, processes, products and services to achieve its goals.

In this regard, Al Awadhi said: “Reports predict that artificial intelligence systems will save the banking community more than $ 1 trillion by 2030. For example, financial institutions are harnessing the power of artificial intelligence to gain more clients and enhance their loyalty by using artificial intelligence tools to predict their behavior patterns and develop banking products and services consequently.”

Al-Awadhi stressed the key role of the main departments in banks in the transformation process, its requirements, and the future of banking branches. He also said the importance of a comprehensive study on the impact of the digital transformation in banks, including the Department of credit, investment, treasury and retail, internal audit, operations, finance and human resources, training and enterprise communications. — SG