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Dubai Islamic Bank CEO on the Importance of Digitization

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Dubai Islamic Bank CEO on the Importance of Digitization in Today’s Ever-Changing Financial Landscape

Junaid Ahmed has over thirty-five years’ experience in the diversified areas of General Banking, Foreign Exchange, Treasury, Corporate and Investment Banking with leading banks in Pakistan and in the Middle East. A seasoned banker, he joined Dubai Islamic Bank Pakistan Limited as President and Chief Executive Officer in August 2010.

“Technology has had a major impact on how industries operate and it has completely disrupted & transformed the financial sector. It is becoming increasingly challenging for traditional banks to compete in an ever-evolving digital marketplace.”

The heightened demand for digital banking along with the rise of app-based financial technology services has forced traditional banks to adapt and invest in infrastructure. With most banks still relying on legacy systems, the transition to new platforms is a considerable challenge that must be addressed to stay ahead of the curve and remain relevant in today’s ever-changing ecosystem.

“With many Roshan Digital Account offerings available for overseas Pakistanis, we knew that we needed a partnership that could help us stand out while driving forward our vision for an elevated customer experience. The synergy between Codebase Technologies and Dubai Islamic Bank teams was essential, enabling every potential pitfall and drawback to be quickly turned into an advantage. They were able to easily fine-tune each element in the solution to ensure we launched the best proposition on the market.”

How do banks need to position themselves in the future to cater for this changing ecosystem and where should they start?

In the past banks were very determined to bring in large, expensive technology infrastructures to make sure their operational needs were met, which then meant they could serve their customers without issue. Now, with the advancements in technology that banks around the world are using, the need to undergo an extensive process of building massive infrastructure is not there anymore. Nowadays, banks and financial institutions can avail technologies that can be launched in weeks rather than years and at a fraction of the cost. For banks to position themselves to cater for the changing ecosystem, and remain competitive into the future, decision makers within banks must recognize the importance of a change mindset. They have to be willing and driven to ask new questions in order to get new answers. This is one of the main benefits of working with the teams at Codebase Technologies – their drive to push the boundaries of what we can do for our business is unlike any vendor we’ve partnered with in the past.

With Mobile banking increasingly becoming the new norm, how can banks transform to support this new type of customer?

Banking around the world has been shifting towards mobile and application-based usage for well over a decade. Smartphones are incredibly powerful tools that, when used effectively, can elevate the relationship banks have with their customers to totally unseen heights. Banks need to understand that the customer experience will only continue to become more mobile driven, and the markets they serve will become more and more demanding of a mobile experience that’s as easy to use as their favourite mobile apps. Packaging the entire banking experience in a customer journey that can be accessed from anywhere, at any time, and making it exciting for the customer, will drive renewed engagement in the bank’s products and services. 

How will technology shape the immediate future of banking?

Open banking technologies have already begun to build momentum in key markets. These allow banks and technology companies to combine their respective expertise and create newer, more exciting, more innovative experiences for customers. These technologies enhance crucial elements, such as KYC, regulatory compliance, customer acquisition processes, and relationship management. I think the biggest shift we’re going to see is the complete digitalization of every aspect of banking – from what the customer sees to what the backend operators see. Institutions need to act quickly to compete with technology firms and large multi-national entities, because if they don’t then their customers will find a better, more engaging option. 

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