The Commercial International Bank (CIB) has been a pioneer in digital banking solutions in Egypt which can contribute to achieving the financial inclusion, the government’s highest priority and the most important passage into a sustainable economy.
Daily News Egypt interviewed Mohamed Farag,deputy chief operation officer to showcase the bank’s journey with digital banking and future products to individuals and companies.
The bank wants to be a key change agent that revolutionises the inclusive financial services landscape and introduces an innovative banking experience, he says.
What is your role in spreading financial technology (FinTech) and electronic payments in Egypt?
CIB is the largest private sector bank in Egypt and the world’s best bank in the Emerging Markets. It has been leading the digital transformation of the banking sector, being a key change agent that revolutionises the inclusive financial services landscape and introduces an innovative banking experience. Since 2010 Global transaction and Digital Banking group was formed to ensure that the ever-changing technological demands of our clients are addressed efficiently.
We believe in the transformative power of technology and how it can make us more efficient and better able to serve our clients. For this reason, we are continuously upgrading our platforms, distribution channels and offerings to make transactions more accessible and convenient to fit our clients’ busy lifestyles and change their traditional banking experience towards digital channels. We spread this digital culture among our customers which make CIB’s digital solutions the customer’s first choice and that is evidenced by percentage of automation that increases annually reaching 87% for external transfers through internet banking for companies, with more than 13,000 subscribers.
CIB is ranked first in Egypt for both digital domestic transfers and electronic governmental payments, and holds almost 25% market share for both internet and mobile banking service in the banking sector.
CIB’s Innovation Lab is positioned as the FinTech and Entrepreneurship Hub within the Banking Sector given its strong presence in the ecosystem via its contribution to all the sound incubators and accelerators in the market, which allowed us to always scout for potential startups enriching our startup portfolio and exploring different collaboration models.
Most of the accelerators and the incubators in the market approach CIB’s Innovation Lab given its pioneering position in the market and its rich value proposition and the viral positive impact it had created in the ecosystem.
CIB’s Innovation Lab has become known for its strong mentorship community inclusive of subject matter experts in different fields from and internal and external network. Our mentors are known for their willingness to support all the startups by giving back to the community and sharing their talent, network and knowhow.
How would the bank support financial inclusion in the Egyptian market?
Financial inclusion to a sustainable Egyptian economy is clearly the government’s highest priority. CIB has been supporting and contributing to such drives and spreading plans to accelerate financial inclusion in a country where only about 33% of Egypt’s population have bank accounts, as per the Central Bank of Egypt’s (CBE) declaration. The bank introduces market leading innovative digital solutions and products, supports entrepreneurship, and provides tailor customer-centric banking services that are conveniently accessible for all Egyptians, which directly align with the CBE’s efforts to promote financial inclusion throughout the nation and transform the financial landscape in the MENA region.
CIB launched Mobile Payment Service “Smart Wallet” in 2016 that targeted both banked and un-banked clients, revolutionises traditional payment methods by allowing users to pay for goods and bills using their mobile phones. It also facilitates P2P transfers across the nation without the necessity of having banking accounts. CIB Smart Wallet has the highest wallet activity rate in the Egyptian market.
In 2019, CIB obtained the license from the regulator to introduce the Mobile Acceptance via QR Code as a new payment method which will allow the bank to expand its merchant network rapidly and in a cheaper channel compared to the traditional terminals (POS) that used to be provided to the merchants.
The new payment method will encourage a large portion of the mobile wallet users who currently reached 13.5 million users to activate their wallets and follow the new market trend as it is one of the key use cases in CIB mobile wallet that will drive the activity rate aggressively. Also mega plans to distribute Meeza card to our customers and non CIB customers.
What are the services the bank provides currently?
As an industry pioneer in leveraging digital technology to streamline banking, CIB introduces new innovative bouquet of e-solutions that revolutionise the daily banking pattern. Our range of products is designed to be cost effectively, consistently implemented to fulfil our client expectations thus creating superior customer experience. Focusing on digitising customer journeys is what matters and availing an outstanding, simple, trusted, enjoyable and advisory digital financial experience.
The new Cash & GO ATM with a seamless and frictionless customer experience, the new Smart Wallet QR Code feature, Zaki The Bot.
Cash & GO ATM; provides a simple transaction flow with personalised customer experience and a higher transaction limit. It provides a simple flow and fewer clicks to reduce the waiting time.
Introducing the new mobile banking app with a new layout with enhanced user experience and added features such as fingerprint login, In app registration, managing beneficiaries, and viewing investment funds which have a considerable impact; fulfilling the customers’ needs, and easing their move to digital platforms, which ensure lower costs, maximise the yield from the existing assets, and improve the overall customer experience. The new application is ranked in the 1st place in terms of No. of downloads on the app store in Egypt.
The CIB Smart Wallet allows users to easily pay and buy directly over the mobile phones. Through few, simple steps in hand, customers can pay their bills (Mobile, DSL, Car License Renewal, electricity, etc.), recharge their mobiles, Send Money to any Smart Wallet holder instantly, cash-in/cash-out from CIB’s ATMs network, deposit/withdraw money from your Wallet from any Fawry Retailers, issue a secured card for online purchases with specified amount and simply perform normal purchases from a large list of registered merchants as a scanner is added to capture the merchant’s number automatically instead of writing it. Customers can also feed the wallet with money by choosing their linked CIB Debit, Credit or Prepaid card anytime and anywhere. CIB launched the QR payment over CIB POS terminals. Accordingly, this will allow the customers to pay using any wallet by scanning the QR code generated by POS. Also the static QR is under development and it will be launched to the market soon.
CIB provides a dual lingual chatbot for the banking services which is the first chatbot in Egypt introduced on social media platforms and bank’s website to help answering customers’ general nonfinancial questions such as branch working hours and product features.
CIB Business Online/Supply Chain: Scalable platform to introduce best in class technology for the online channels including cash management/trade management products. Also, we will introduce new chain that aims for increasing the working capital in order for supporting the small & medium enterprises.(i.e SMEs)
What about your new services in 2020?
Going forward, we will continue our efforts to enhance the customer experience. We will continue adding new functionalities at competitive prices. We also plan to focus on various in-branch digital tactics to further optimise average waiting and service times. We will work on improving the user experience and customer journey. We will upgrade digital user interfaces and platforms and adopt a multi-vendor strategy to derive the most value from existing assets. In doing so, we will build the capacity to service every kind of customer in the best possible manner.
Throughout 2020, CIB will work on further extending ATM network and adding new functionalities to enhance customer experience and grow our agent network. In addition, expanding in Smart Wallet acquisition is one of the year’s essential targets.
Does the bank target specific segments with its services or products?
We aim to ensure the financial inclusion of the younger generation by teaching them to manage
their money and grow their assets for the future for consumer clients , CIB launched Prime me bundle tailor-made to Millennia’s lifestyle with exclusive financial benefits
In 2019, CIB announced the signing of a partnership protocol with Business Women of Egypt 21 (BWE21), an independent non-profit organization enacting positive change for business women and the Egyptian economy. The protocol is part of CIB’s continued commitment to support women entrepreneurs running small and medium-sized businesses achieve sustainable development.
The protocol establishes CIB as BWE21’s exclusive bank sponsor and will see the bank help the organization set up voluntary workshops on financial awareness and attain financing for business development. Under the agreement, the bank will also develop a suite of banking services especially targeted at business women who are members of the BWE21, this initiative will continue in 2020 and ongoing.
Does the bank intend to open electronic branches in the coming period?
We believe that reverting to digital solutions will eventually decrease the reliance on physical branches in the digital age enabling customers to bank where they want, how they want and when they want. Self-service channels have become the basis through which customers get access to their bank; customers can now do nearly most of the financial transactions through our digital online channels such as ATM wide network as we provide the highest limit in the market of withdrawal and deposit along with other functionalities through a large network of up to 1,000 ATMs across the county. CIB Smart Wallet offers an innovative payment experience serving the banked and un-banked by providing a convenient, secure, and cost-effective way to make purchases using mobile devices , send money to any other wallet holder in Egypt, and deposit and withdraw cash from CIB’s ATM network or any of our authorised banking agents.
CIB new mobile banking makes banking easy as it offers an enjoyable banking experience allowing customers to conduct transactions on the go. So save you time, energy and money and go about doing what matters most.
What is the share of automation in the bank’s operations, and how does the bank work to increase it?
CIB is a pioneer in the digital solutions and that is evidenced by percentage of automation that increases annually reaching an average percentage ranging between 40% and 88% for external transfers transactions for companies and individuals, respectively. Cash deposit on ATM reached 95% of total bank transactions and 98% for cash withdrawal. CIB strives to develop digital channels to analyse customers’ behaviours. We, at CIB, pride ourselves in being able to anticipate customers’ needs and provide accordingly a personalised offering that meets their demand.
CIB continued to improve the quality of its customer experience by developing and growing our banking network and improve digital solutions in mobile wallets with the highest activity rate in the market. We currently have more than 625,000 smart wallet users.
CIB FinTech Engagement was initiated to cater to FinTech startup needs, providing them with the tools they need to survive in today’s competitive market, and formulated a pipeline of fintechs to nurture and introduce to the market.