Retail banking in the Middle East

Regional review

January 2017

Banks in the Middle East are making significant progress on their journey to digital transformation. An extremely dynamic marketplace brings a complex array of challenges for financial services providers, including navigating a fast-moving payments landscape, capitalising on the high levels of smartphone penetration and social media use in the region, and finding the right strategy to turn the threats posed by fintechs into opportunities.

In this Regional Review we consider how banks in the Middle East are addressing the challenges presented in the financial services sector today, and find out how they are embracing new technology and a spirit of innovation to deliver products and services that optimise their business operations and fulfil their customers’ differing needs.

This publication includes interviews with twenty of the Middle East banking industry’s most pioneering leaders, providing fascinating insight into the factors that are driving decision making in the region, and the initiatives underway that will transform the sector over the coming years. We also find out more about some of the most interesting new projects in the region, with case studies on best practice in areas such as mobile payments, interactive teller machines and banking by social media. And we profile some of the most exciting innovations to come from the Middle East, like virtual reality banking and chatbot services.

Thank you to the Efma members who have dedicated time to contribute to our first Regional Review for the Middle East region. Their experience and insight is of great value for the whole industry’s digital transformation.

We hope you find this Regional Review an informative and valuable resource.

Keywords : Digital/Mobile channels , Islamic customer , Bank Products & Services , Operational excellence/Cost efficiency