Ever-Evolving State Of Banks In The Middle East

Surviving Covid-19 was an immunity test for the banks in the Middle East. Volatile oil prices, intensifying multi-dimensional disruptions, and many disruptive elements had knockout effects on the Middle East banking industry. However, the region’s tremendous efforts to drive the digital revolution forward have enabled it to bounce back strongly.

In the Middle East, meeting the forward-thinking national digital agendas and rising citizen expectations is more necessary than a goal. The region continues to utilise newer innovations and technologies by staying updated with emerging technologies. Thus, upgrading the region’s banking landscape.

The Impact of Digital on Middle Eastern Customers

With a projected CAGR of 15.39% (2021–2026) and smartphone penetration rates of 75% in Qatar, 73% in the UAE, and 60% in Saudi Arabia, the Middle Eastern digital payments ecosystem is poised for rapid expansion. One of the key contributors to this dramatic growth is a progressive shift in consumer lifestyle, behaviour, and expectations.

According to a recent Visa survey focusing on Middle Eastern customers, 71% of store patrons pay online, 54% use contactless cards, and 46% use mobile wallets. Nearly 61% of online customers prefer cards and digital wallets to Cash on Delivery. The fact that 43% of customers continue to use contactless payments in-store and that 48% prefer online payment over Cash on Delivery proves that the trend is here to stay.

Digital banking has simplified many things for customers in the Middle East. Growing expectations are always met with intelligent solutions that consumers leverage to make their lives easier.

In their everyday lives, Middle Eastern customers enjoy several benefits due to the digital transformation of banking. Here are some standard tools that can transform customer experience in the Middle East.

→ Optimised customer onboarding:

Customer onboarding was typically a time-consuming procedure that required frequent branch visits. The KYC verification process took a few days, and there was a problem with consumer interaction. Onboarding improved and became a seamless experience when customers began interacting via applications and websites. Several banks in the Middle East took drastic measures to offer a seamless onboarding experience.

Commercial Bank of Dubai took measures to develop its customer engagement strategy by focusing on digital innovation. For over 50 years, the Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD) has connected with consumers and delivered personalised services. Today with the digital transformation, it is ready with its valuable innovations. Along with providing fantastic services, the CBD also designed a speedy onboarding process that allowed users to open a bank account in under two minutes.

Clayfin’s digital onboarding can greatly help banks in the Middle East. Offer your customers a secure digital onboarding option that can be completed with a few clicks, swipes, or taps of the keys.

→ Omnichannel Engagement:

Brands can increase brand loyalty and retention by engaging their customers through an omnichannel strategy. Mashreq Neo, a company from the Middle East, improved its main metrics after implementing an omnichannel strategy. At first, Mashreq Neo used its mobile app in a siloed manner, which resulted in a fragmented user experience and customer communication. This resulted in high-drop offs and low adoption of critical functions like debit card spending and consumer loyalty programs.

Mashreq Neo developed cohorts (through installed to uninstalled phases) to analyse its user base and pinpoint peak drop-off points. Then, based on various consumer pain points, they created omnichannel workflows to engage customers.

Additionally, Mashreq Neo promoted hyper-personalisation through various communication channels and client engagement activities.

Clayfin offers omnichannel solutions that give your customers the freedom to bank seamlessly.

→ Hyper-personalisation & automation of customer engagement strategies

Providing a hyper-personalised customer experience has become essential as customer engagement trends keep evolving and expanding. Achieving an elevated customer experience continues beyond offering digital banking solutions. Banks must analyse every customer engagement touchpoint and build services based on their understanding. Additionally, as technology improves the customer experience, banks are discovering new methods to interact with consumers automatically and cultivate brand loyalty.

Redefining Customer Experience in the Middle East: What the future holds

It is quite clear now that customer engagement techniques and the marketing initiatives connected to them have changed significantly in the Middle East. The evolution of consumer engagement will only continue to advance as time goes on. What the dynamic banks of the Middle Eastern region need is an innovative digital banking solution provider that understands customer expectations like no one else!

Clayfin assisted in revolutionising banking for customers across geographies. In the 20+ years that Clayfin has been in the industry, the knowledge gained, partnerships made, and lessons learned have enhanced our offerings to banks. Connect with us today and elevate your customers’ banking experience!

Rafeeque M Ali

Over 19 years (15 years + in ME & North Africa) of experience in Sales/Business Development & Account Management of IT solutions - BFSI Domain. A Digital Banking Sales Specialist with excellent knowledge in the areas of Retail, SME & Corporate - Omni Channel (Internet, Mobile & Wearable Banking), Digital Onboarding, API Banking, Chatbot, Lifestyle/Social Banking, PFM, Analytics, Liquidity, Cash Management, Supply Chain, eRemittance & Insurance Solutions

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