Dubai: Noor Islamic Bank, the new generation Sharia compliant bank sees big growth opportunities in the consumer banking business in the UAE this year, John Chang, Head of Consumer Banking, told Gulf News.
"For the past six months we have witnessed a strong revival in consumer banking business in the country. While the financing activity has picked up, we have witnessed strong growth in both assets and liability side of our retail business," said Chang.
Noor has a whole range of consumer banking products that compete with conventional banking and Islamic banking products currently available in the market. Going a step further the bank has recently launched Advantage package, a holistic banking solution for salaried professionals.
"Advantage offers convenient and personalised banking solution for the mid-level executives and managers. Advantage customers are automatically entitled to personalised service, extended banking hours, preferential pricing and rates and fast and easy transactions," said Chang.
The package deal is aimed at offering best in class services while offering minimum costs to customers. The offer comes with preferential terms on credit cards and personal finance and a pre-approved Shariah compliant overdraft facility of one month salary, and up to Dh5,000 will be free for profit (fin-ance charges).
The bank which operates out of 16 branches across the country is in process of opening two more new branches, one in Dubai and another one in Abu Dhabi.
Despite the huge decline in financing activity in the UAE banking sector from 35 per cent in the first half of 2008 to single digit growth last year, Noor expects it can capitalise on a huge demand for personalised banking services from the mid-level executives.
"Our focus is not on any single product. What we are doing is bringing all benefits of relationship banking to salaried professionals.
We have products and services for all classes of customers. Our objective is to make all these accessible to our customers across the country," said Chan.
Noor Islamic Bank recently launched the UAE's first Arabic enabled mobile internet banking service, as part of the bank's drive to meet customer demand for convenient 24 hour banking services. The new service can be accessed from any make, or type, of mobile phone with access to the internet.
A key differentiating factor of this service, from other existing ones in the market, is the direct hassle-free interface with which the customer can hook onto the Noor site.
Customers don't have to either bookmark the portal or even download and install applications onto their designated mobile phone, to align itself with the site.
The intelligent Noor website will automatically detect the nature of the device logging in, and will simply adapt to the user's requirements, push the appropriate page to fit the unique screen size, and accommodate the mobile customer.
The service, available in Arabic and English, will enable Noor Islamic Bank customers to check their bank account and credit card balances, transfer funds between their Noor Islamic Bank accounts and pay off credit card balances, in Arabic, as well as in English.
This unique offering follows the earlier launches of the first 24/7 branch in the UAE by Noor Islamic Bank, and the first online takaful offering by Noor Takaful in the region.
"Our founding vision was to create a progressive new generation Islamic financial institution. That continues to be our target and the drive towards achieving that differentiates us from other Islamic and conventional banks operating in the country," he said.
Supplementing its innovative products and services offerings, the bank is also poised for a well orchestrated marketing campaign to attract maximum number of customers it can attract.
Recently the bank won the right to name the Al Quoz Metro station after it for 10 years.