ila Bank’s ‘alburaq’ offers a new Islamic banking experience in Bahrain

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 personalised Islamic banking services at their fingertips 24/7/365.

MENA Newswire: 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.

Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sael Al Waary

Group Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sael Al Waary

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 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 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 revolutionised 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 personalised digital Islamic banking experience through ‘alburaq’.”

“With the addition of this purely Islamic account from ila, we offer an all-inclusive digital banking experience catering a comprehensive range of products and services that meet varying customer needs. This enables us to spur further financial inclusion in Bahrain and ultimately 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, includes:

  • 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 customers preference at attractive rates.

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