Investing more in technology is key to keeping abreast with market trends and the latest technological advancements, enabling a bank to cater more to customer needs, Commercial Bank Group CEO Joseph Abraham said yesterday.
“Banking in the future would require a lot of investment in technology, and the more that you can merge the spend rather than have it spread across a number of banks, that’s one of the benefits of consolidation that you have – more investments into technology,” Abraham said during a keynote interview during the Euromoney Qatar Conference yesterday.
Speaking on fintech and its impact on the banking system, Abraham said, “We hear a lot about technology and fintech companies, the rise of fintech, and the threats to the banking system but personally, I believe that the customer doesn’t care whether it’s a fintech company or it’s a bank.
“The customer is looking for convenience, speed, doing it himself, and cost competitiveness, so as long as the banks can do that, then they would be able to meet any threat from rising fintech companies.”
Citing Commercial Bank’s ‘60 Second Remittance Proposition’ as an example, Abraham noted that the initiative was a successful proposition in Qatar.
“In the payment space where most fintechs are concentrated, we developed our ‘60 Second Remittance Proposition’, so if you look at major markets for remittance, we were able to develop a proposition, which enabled a recipient to receive it within 60 seconds of the confirmation.
“Our volumes are now over 100,000 a month, and that’s an example of how it would be very difficult for a fintech to get into that space because we already were able to meet the needs of the client,” Abraham pointed out.
He also said Commercial Bank established a new subsidiary, Commercial Bank Innovation Services, which was set up at the Qatar Financial Centre (QFC) in an effort to maximise technology in the bank’s operations.
“We’d like to thank the QFC for their superb support and partnership because we were able to do such a major move in a space of six months. And so now we have control over our technology and operations.
“We can hire the best technologists, and this is how we believe that this could enable us to competitively apply technology in development products but also in our operations and technical processes that we’re using things like robotic process automation and AI (artificial intelligence) into our core processes and this will give us and the banking sector a competitive advantage,” Abraham said.
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