A  majority of UAE residents would recommend their bank to others, according to a survey conducted by yallacompare, a financial comparison site. 

The survey, conducted as part of the yallacompare Banking Awards H1 2017, sought to ascertain the most popular banks and fi-nancial products in the UAE. As part of it, more than 3,500 UAE residents were polled. 

According to the results, more than 80 per cent of UAE residents polled would recommend their bank to others, while just under 12 per cent said they would not. Over 77 per cent were ready to recommend their primary credit card to others. 

Doing a good job

“The results to this survey show that, for the vast majority of people in the UAE, banks are doing a good job,” says Jon Richards, CEO of yallacompare. “With most banks offering much more mature web- and mobile-based banking services, as well as improving their levels of customer service, it would appear that UAE banks are keeping the majority of their customers happy.”  

Formerly known as Compareit4me.com, the comparison website yallacompare was recently rebranded to more closely align itself with Middle Eastern consumers. 

The survey also quizzed respondents on what they deem to be the nation’s best financial products, providing the basis for the first yallacompare Banking Awards. Respondents  voted on which financial products should be named as the most impressive of the year. 

In the credit-card categories, it emerged that airline co-branded products were consumers’ choice for earning air miles. The Citi-bank Emirates Ultima Card was voted the air miles credit card of the year, while other airline co-branded cards scored highly in the category. 

In terms of cashback credit cards, users unsurprisingly picked the cards that gave them the largest sums of cashback. Standard Chartered’s Titanium Card picked up the win thanks largely to the fact that it offers a market-leading 10 per cent cashback on a variety of purchases. 

Likewise, rewards figured highly in the mortgage and Islamic home finance categories, with RAK Bank’s Home In One and Dubai Islamic Bank’s  DIB Home products being named winners in their respective categories. These products offer more to consumers than long-term home loans, offering complete personal finance packages that allow borrowers to earn benefits from their repay-ments. 

Stamp of approval

The yallacompare Banking Awards were founded to recognise the efforts made by UAE banks in providing high-quality banking services, a media handout said. Given out over 19 categories, the awards allow UAE banks to celebrate their achievements in creating and maintaining solid financial products that deliver outstanding value and high levels of customer satisfaction. 

Since the awards are voted on by the public, they serve as a stamp of approval from the UAE’s population for the financial prod-ucts that exceed customer expectations.
Two methodologies were used to decide on award winners. The first saw a comprehensive survey run for the first six months of 2017, with yallacompare users invited to vote on their favourite financial products in each category. More than 3,500 user responses were collected, with each response vetted to ensure that every respondent was indeed a UAE resident and had access to banking services in the country. 

The second methodology saw yallacompare dive into its vast database of site analytics and user searches for financial products. For each award category, the yallacompare insight analysis team ranked the leading financial institutions based on the number of organic page views and searches performed for each product. 

The results from the survey were then cross-referenced with those from yallacompare’s deep dive into its site analytics. 

The survey findings were taken as preliminary awards results, with the analytics insights in place to either confirm the public deci-sion or else balance out statistical anomalies.