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A view of the Mashreq Bank branch in Dubai Internet City. Banks in the UAE are increasingly encouraging their customers to do their banking online. Image Credit: Pankaj Sharma/Gulf News

Dubai: Like how corporates encourage their employees to work from home, banks in the UAE have increasingly started to prompt their customers to do their banking online.

UAE’s Mashreq Bank, like other banks in the region, has sought to reassure its customers of continuity of its services at a time when a virus-triggered panic has spread amongst the region’s citizens.

Amid growing concerns of people hesitating to approach their banks physically to make transactions or raise queries, Mashreq emphasized that its key priority is the safety of the lender’s staff and customers across all the segments it operates - be it retail, corporate, business or international banking.

“Your wellbeing is important to us, and your safety remains a priority, especially during these times of uncertainty,” the lender posted in its website, while encouraging customers to connect with the bank from the comfort of their homes or offices through all online and digital channels available for everyday transactions.

Boosting online access

In efforts to support this move, the bank said it has launched a “special microsite” within its main website, linked to www.mashreq.com/stay-connected, with a tagline to “Stay Safe. Stay connected.”

The website gives access to Mashreq customers to a full suite of banking services and customers can use any of the channels to conduct their banking in comfort and safety, listing out on the website how a customer can apply for financial services in each of the segments it operates in.

Services ranging from opening an account or a deposit, making an application for a loan, card or insurance, to non-financial services such as maintenance of account, card, loan or trade license – can be done online “from the comfort of one’s home”.

One can also do day to day banking transactions like cash and cheque withdrawals and deposits. It has also listed out a list of ‘ready-to-access’ links to different sections of the websites that provide different services, while providing different contact details, should you have any queries.

Like practices taken up by organizations within the country and abroad, Mashreq also said measures of sterilization and hygiene have been implemented at all branches and offices, all in an effort to “to ensure the highest levels of personal safety”.

Multiple pacifying means

“These and many more measures are being taken for the good health and provide great banking experiences to our customers,” the bank said.

Dubai’s top lender Emirates NBD said it has been in actively speaking to its customers on their digital banking facilities, especially given the current scenario, and sought to reiterate their availability online through a video posted on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/254094394708288/posts/2741556359295400/?vh=e&d=n)

“Contactless is the way to go,” the lender posted on the online social media platform on Saturday. “Without contact is the most appropriate and safe method these days. (So) enjoy contactless banking from Emirates NBD (and) stay safe,” ran their tagline, calling for caution at these times of uncertainty.

Other banks such as RAKBank and Emirates Islamic Bank have also issued caution memos to their employees regarding standard measures they need to take to protect themselves from exposure to virus.

Employees across many banks are advised to avoid external travel both within the region and outside if not for some emergency situation. Most banks have also reduced client meetings.

Foreign banks, financial institutions and law firms operating in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) have also confirmed that they have substantially cut down on travels and client meetings in the light of the coronavirus outbreak.