Dubai: The 24-hour movement restrictions on Dubai residents as part of the massive sanitization drive to fight the spread of COVID-9 should not worry bank customers as the banking sector in the country has robust digital solutions.
The Central Bank of UAE (CBUAE), UAE Banks Federation and all leading banks operating in the UAE have been urging customers to use digital, online and mobile banking channels to support government’s effort to limit the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19).
The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) has called on bank customers to take advantage of digital and online banking services as a measure to protect the health and safety of UAE residents.
The apex bank also asked banks to make available more digital/online banking services in the face of an unprecedented public health scare set off by the coronavirus.
Go digital, what you can do online
Most of the UAE banks have robust digital banking platforms that allow more than 90 per cent of retail banking transactions to be done online. Banks in the country have been investing heavily in digital transformation and have electronic channels that can deliver majority of services.
Machine based services
The extensive network of automated teller machines (ATMs), cash deposit machine (CDMs) and cheque deposit machines allow customers to do cash withdrawal, cheque deposits and cash deposits.
Most of this machines can handle bill payments, utility payments some of the government payments and credit card payments.
Updating of personal information
The new generation ATM machines are equipped to handle updating of personal information such as the Emirates ID and visa information, change of address, change of email and phone number.
Phone banking services
All leading banks in the country have very advance phone banking services that allow customers to access a number of services without visiting branches.
Activation of credit or debit cards
Loan and mortgage clearance letters
Issuance of liability and non-liability letters
Updating of credit and debit card pins
Blocking and cancellation of credit and debit cards
Setting credit limits, spending limits and withdrawal limits on credit and debit cards.
Cheque book issuance and cancellations.
All UAE banks have advance net banking facilities that are capable of offering nearly 95 per cent of services offered the branches. These services include:
- Credit card and debit card applications
- Bills and utility payments
- Loan and mortgage applications
- Loan deferments
- Cheque book requests
- Standing instructions
- Payments and money transfers
- Accessing installment schemes on credit card debt etc.
Mobile banking applications of UAE banks are very advanced and are at par or better than such services offered anywhere in the world. Mobile banking apps offer most of the services offered in online banking in addition to the convenience of accessing banking services on the move.
Virtual banking services
Some of the leading banks in the UAE offer virtual banking services where customers can interact with tellers on video link that facilitates almost any transaction using multi-level authentication such as bio-metrics, Emirates ID and dynamic passwords or secret codes shared on registered mobile numbers.
Early adopters of technology transformation such as Emirates NBD Group, Mashreq, Commercial Bank of Dubai and Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank have been offering digital services that has seen significant reduction in customer footfall in their branches.
While many banks have seen significant reduction in branch network, Mashreq even announced last year a 50 per cent reduction in its branch network supported by its digital solutions.
“The worldwide outbreak of COVID-19 has created significant challenges to society. Although the UAE banking sector has not seen any significant pressure at this stage, to maximize efficiencies and reduce the spread of the virus we encourage all customers to use digital channels to conduct their banking,” said AbdulAziz Al Ghurair, Chairman of UAE Banks Federation