Driving further digital transformation and financial inclusion in the MENA region, the new fully digital Islamic banking experience from the multi-award-winning ila Bank brings consumers a range of personalized Islamic banking services at their fingertips 24/7/365.
Manama, Bahrain: Bank ABC’s commitment to digital disruption remains resolute, as its retail arm ila Bank successfully launched Bahrain’s exclusively digital, Shari’a-compliant banking offering for individual customers – ‘alburaq.’ Introduced in May 2023, this new Islamic banking experience from ila Bank brings customers a host of intuitive Shari’a compliant banking products and services at their fingertips through ila’s multi-faceted, state-of-the-art mobile banking app.
Catering to those who prefer to adhere to Shari’a-compliant banking principles, ‘alburaq’ is completely segregated from ila’s conventional accounts and is backed by Bank ABC’s long-established Islamic finance subsidiary, Bank ABC Islamic. Recently named the ‘Best Islamic Financial Institution in Bahrain in 2023’ by Global Finance, Bank ABC Islamic has been at the forefront of cutting-edge developments in the Islamic banking space since the 1980s.
The addition of ‘alburaq’ underscores ila’s unwavering commitment to bolster digital transformation and financial inclusion in the MENA region and beyond. It follows ila’s exceptional performance in Bahrain and Jordan since its launch in 2019 and 2022, respectively. Thus far, ila has sparked a fundamental shift in consumer preferences towards digital experiences, while reaching underserved socioeconomic segments and enhancing the digital capabilities of its employees and wider communities.
Commenting on ila’s foray into Islamic banking, Bank ABC’s Group CEO, Mr. Sael Al Waary said: “Bank ABC revolutionized the retail banking landscape in Bahrain with the launch of our digital mobile-only – ila Bank back in 2019. We have merged the deep Shari’a-compliant banking expertise of our Islamic finance arm with ila’s disruptive digital capabilities to offer consumers a first-of-its-kind, extremely personalized digital Islamic banking experience through ‘alburaq’.”
Bank ABC’s Group CEO, Mr. Sael Al Waary
“With the addition of this purely Islamic account from ila, we offer an all-inclusive digital banking experience catering to a comprehensive range of products and services that meet varying customer needs. This enables us to spur further financial inclusion in Bahrain and across the region. alburaq boasts strictly Shari’a-compliant money management solutions that are fast, convenient, and seamless, empowering our customers to attain their financial goals and aspirations in the manner that best suits them,” added Mr. Al Waary.
This strategic milestone comes as part of Bank ABC’s multi-year digital transformation programme aimed at building a customer-relevant, sustainable ‘Bank of the future.’ Fulfilling the market gap for smart digital Islamic banking solutions, alburaq has surpassed its 6-month KPI’s in its first month of operation. Soon, ila’s digital innovation capabilities will be migrated across Bank ABC Group’s business lines and retail footprint in MENA.
An unparalleled account opening experience
ila customers in Bahrain can switch to ‘alburaq’ effortlessly via the ‘Profile’ section on the ila mobile app, while new customers can enjoy a fast and seamless onboarding process and simply choose to open an ‘alburaq’ account, a conventional account, or both. Given ila’s integration with the national eKYC system, the account opening process can be completed within minutes by scanning one national ID card, taking a selfie, and answering a few questions.
alburaq’s initial offering
‘alburaq’ seamless Islamic banking offerings, include:
- Eight multi-currency accounts, all linked to a new alburaq debit card.
- A suite of day-to-day banking services such as local Fawri, Fawri+, and Fawteer services, international transfers, card control functions, and more.
- The new alburaq account can be linked to Benefit Pay and the alburaq debit card can be linked to Apple Pay, Garmin Pay, Fit Bit pay, and other payment wallets enabled for ila customers.
- ‘Wakala Investment,’ a product that provides the opportunity to invest funds for a definite period and earn Shari’a-compliant profit on investments. Wakala will initially be offered in BHD and US$ and multiple Wakala Investment deposits can be created according to the customer’s preference at attractive rates.
About ila Bank
Launched in Bahrain on 24 November 2019, ila Bank is a digital, mobile-only bank powered by Bank ABC, MENA’s leading international bank. Aided by cutting-edge technologies and a human-centric design, ila’s intuitive banking app is designed to serve a wide range of customers, from all segments of society. The app currently offers both conventional and Islamic accounts via a fully digital onboarding process, physical debit cards, multi-currency accounts, Fixed deposit and Wakala investments as well as credit cards with a world of exclusive benefits. Following its phenomenal success in Bahrain, ila Bank commenced its global expansion, starting with Jordan in September 2022.
The ila app is available for download on Google Play and Apple stores. For more information on ila Bank, please visit: www.ilabank.com and follow ila Bank on social media @ilabankbhr.
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