Retail banking loans account for approximately 24% of Bank Audi Egypt’s total loans portfolio, according to head of Retail Banking at the bank, Ehab Dora.
He explained, in an exclusive interview with Daily News Egypt, that the retail loan portfolio at the bank amounted to approximately EGP 3.8bn by the end of September 2015, noting that the bank hopes to increase this figure by 30% this year.
The bank aims to expand new services and relevant products to attract deposits or grant loans and is focused on offering multiple innovative channels of communication to fulfil customer requests easily. The bank is developing Internet banking services with the most up-to-date banking technology and solutions in cooperation with the world’s largest service providers.
What is the volume of the bank’s retail banking portfolio?
At of the end of September 2015, the bank’s retail loan portfolio amounted to approximately EGP 3.8bn.
By how much does the bank hope to expand this figure in 2016?
The bank aims to increase the volume of its retail banking portfolio by 30% in 2016.
What percentage do retail loans comprise of the bank’s total loans portfolio?
Retail banking loans provided to individuals constitute 24% of the bank’s total loan portfolio.
What are the most prominent retail services offered by Bank Audi Egypt?
Retail banking services provided to individuals by Bank Audi vary. The bank offers retail products based on the needs of customers of different age groups.
Here, I would like to draw attention to the fact that the bank is conducting several market studies in cooperation with specialised companies for all age groups to understand their banking and non-banking, or lifestyle, needs. Product features are chosen based on these studies.
Our products include personal accounts, savings accounts of various types, regular current accounts, interest-bearing current accounts, deposits and savings certificates, credit cards, personal loans of various types, auto loans, and real estate financing products.
Services launched by the bank last year include the World MasterCard Credit Card, which was made available on the Egyptian market for the first time and the Platinum Debit MasterCard.
Additionally banking insurance services were offered for the first time after the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) approved such services in cooperation with the Egyptian Life Takaful Company. Also in 2015, Audi Premiere services were offered, which are specially designed to target major customers by taking their banking and lifestyle needs and expectations into account.
Also, late last year, the innovative NOVO device was launched. NOVO represents a new world for smart banking solutions and a new channel of communication with the bank. It provides easy, safe communication through image and sound.
The bank now owns one of these devices and hopes to acquire another three throughout 2016. The difficulty always lies in preparing infrastructure for the service and then spreading it quickly in accordance with market needs.
In cooperation with Fawry, an electronic payment company, the bank has also developed a service to pay credit card bills at Fawry’s network of distributors.
What about new products and services offered by the bank in the near future?
In the near future, the bank hopes to expand new products and services, both including deposits and loans, and will also focus on creating multiple innovative channels for communication. The goal is to fulfil customer requests with ease and provide the quality of service desired by all types of customers through these channels.
This month, the bank plans to develop Internet banking services using the latest technology and banking solutions in collaboration with the world’s largest service providers. We will guarantee the maximum level of technical security permitted through Soft Token, operating for the first time in Egypt.
The bank is awaiting the CBE regulations on mobile banking services in preparation for launching this service.
What about the bank’s role in attracting new types of customers to the banking sector and achieving financial inclusion?
Bank Audi Egypt works to achieve financial inclusion, including integration with CBE’s plans to achieve this goal by focusing on providing products and services appropriate for customers from different age groups, developing innovative channels and methods to keep pace with modern technology, and developing customer service through a variety of distribution channels, the most important being bank branches and technological channels.
Offering modern channels for technology, including Internet and Mobile banking, are certain to attract new groups of youth in parallel with issuing banking products which are attractive to this market.
We have adopted this approach based on statistics, which show that 60% of Egypt’s population is comprised of young people under 30 years of age, 113% of whom use mobile phones and 37% the Internet.
The bank believes that technology is the future and thus is keen to provide all modern technological products and services to attract more youth.
Does this mean that the era of traditional bank branches has ended?
Bank Audi’s interest in technological development does not diminish its interest in direct channels for interaction with customers, such as bank branches, which still maintain a significant and effective role in communicating with customers.
The bank has a plan for geographic expansion, which involves increasing from 37 to 62 branches in the near future.
What about the bank’s role in introducing new retail products and services to the Egyptian market?
The change in customer needs and the responsibility Bank Audi carries to meet market needs is the primary motivation behind the search for the most advanced banking technology and solutions available.
Banks operating on the Egyptian marketing have engaged intensively in direct, face-to-face interactions with customers. Some banks offered alternative channels for interaction, including Internet and mobile banking services.
We at Bank Audi believe in technological solutions and interactions, which do not rely on the human element to complete a transaction, meaning that mobile phones will carry the most weight in the future of the banking sector.
As a result, the bank began working on developing and adopting modern technological channels to complete most banking transactions within the framework of specific regulations set by the CBE, while also maintaining an advisory role for the bank’s branches.
This does not negate our conviction that personal, face-to-face interactions will not lose their status, since they serve the client effectively and are convenient for customers of different classes and age groups. However, at the same time, operating through branches alone does not suit the rapid pace of life and increasing reliance on technology. This is where adopting technology that allows for communication via image and voice comes into play.
There is a real opportunity to communicate with the bank on the Egyptian market and through video and audio calls to complete banking transactions. This represents an alternative to traditional banking channels.
Thus, the NOVO service was developed for the first time in the Egyptian market and forms the start of a new path toward many high-quality technological services to be offered throughout 2016.