The creation of Dukhan Bank, following a merger between Barwa and the International Bank of Qatar in 2019, has lead to a full service bank with retail and private banking capabilites, plus coprproate, capital market & wealth management abilites. Its integration efforts, focus on working with fintechs, and using data analytics to improve services won it three Highly Commended (HC) trophies at the RBI Asia Awards in the Best Retail Bank: Qatar; Best Use of ML; and Best Loyalty / Rewards Program: Middle East categories.
The aim of the newly formed bank is to deliver simplified, secure, and seamless bank services in an increasingly borderless financial world where technology is leading the demand for easy-to-use connected services that are constantly available. Machine learning (ML) is crucial in delivering the automated artifical intelligence (AI)-powered self-serve 24x7 connected operation that retail banks must increasingly offer. Its also useful in brdging any internal silos and aiding IT migrations if properly backed with management expertize.
Dukhan Bank went further in its digital journey however than merely integrating and migrating past IT estates, winning it the Best Retail Bank: Qatar category for its new fintech-enabled digital banking solutions, such as:
- Continuous enhancements on the mobile application: for instance, it’s the first in the country to integrate with brokerage services from The Group, expanding capabilites to the palm of customers via smartphones. Its overhaul also means customers can now enjoy a range of new data-driven updates and features. After logging on they can also:
- Quickly open a foreign currency account,
- Get international transfer updates,
- & Simply open a term deposit account.
- (D-Pay): Dukhan's extensive contactless payment platform provides easy app-based payments, a wristband wearables payment option, and links to Fitbit Pay and Garmin to power customers’ social lives and reward them for exercising and participating in other activities like shopping.
This fintech-enabled focus on partnerships and the next generation of connected digital banking got it a Best Loyalty / Rewards Program accolade for the region and positions it as a bank that is truly ready to take advantage of the trend towards open application programming interfaces (APIs), which often power, the seamless connected experience that customers want.
If an Uber app can link to Google Maps’ service and integrate payment, metering and other services into a single app then why cannot a bank do something similar? A bank can connect payment, shopping, balance updates, bill pay and other services all into an aggregated ‘single app to rule them all’ via open APIs if it wants – and others certainly will if it doesn’t, so this is a timely move by Dukhan. The practice is harder than the theory, of course, but Dukhan is already well on the way towards matching its peers and delivering 21st century banking.