Arab National Bank leverages Confluent to advance collaboration with FinTechs in Saudi Arabia
By Leandra Monteiro
Confluent, Inc., the data streaming platform to set data in motion, announced that Arab National Bank, one of the largest banks in the Middle East, has successfully leveraged the Confluent Data Streaming Platform to unlock the power of its operational and customer data. This is enabling the bank to introduce innovative new services that enhance customer experiences, and proactively collaborate with the Kingdom’s new breed of agile FinTech companies.
As a wave of digitalisation has been sweeping the banking sector in Saudi Arabia, a recent YouGov survey reports the vast majority (91%) of Saudi residents now prefer online/app banking to traditional alternatives. Consequently, in the first quarter of 2022, the Saudi Central Bank revealed that 13 bank branches and 81 ATMs were closed across the Kingdom. Recognising these rapidly evolving customer preferences, Arab National Bank embarked on its digital transformation journey several years ago and recently partnered with Confluent to capitalise on new opportunities for growth.
“One of the main drivers of our transformation was the disruption being caused by agile FinTech companies. Unlike other banks that are threatened by these organisations, we have embraced a collaborative approach with the aim of positioning ourselves as the banking arm of FinTech businesses in Saudi Arabia,” explained Naif Alharbi, CIO at Arab National Bank.
“By Implementing Confluent’s platform, we are able to harness the power of real-time data. Given the scale of our operations, we are able to use this to offer actionable insights to our FinTech partners. The value this provides is evidenced in the fact that we now support 65% of the FinTech ecosystem across the Kingdom,” Alharbi added.
Equally important has been the Bank’s ability to create compelling new offerings for its customers. One of these has been a service that simplifies and streamlines savings by analysing transactions in real-time, and automatically transferring funds to a customer’s current account based on their predefined savings criteria.
Arab National Bank is also utilising the real-time transaction insights made possible by Confluent’s data streaming solution to implement a new loyalty program.
“Confluent empowers us to capture all the data a customer generates when interacting with us – be it at our branches or via our digital channels. Using this detailed information, we are able to assign loyalty points which customers will be able to exchange for rewards. Without the power of real-time streaming, we simply wouldn’t have the insight we need to effectively create this attractive program,” said the bank’s Head of Business Technology, Omar Alageel.
Having already realised these and other successes through its partnership with Confluent, Arab National Bank is committed to growing Its digital operations at an accelerated pace. “Our Bank’s leadership sees that consumer preferences and trends in the sector are shifting dramatically. They recognise that digital is the future and have clear strategies in place to support innovative digital initiatives. This presents us with an inflection point at which we intend to leverage our agility to rapidly gain market share,” Alharbi concluded.
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