Last month, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) made its way to the Huawei AppGallery. The FAB mobile banking app allows UAE customers to manage their accounts and credit cards, transfer money, and pay their bills directly from their mobile device. This latest addition to the Huawei AppGallery reflects Huawei’s commitment to working closely with developers and partners in the financial industry.
We sat down with Ramana Kumar, Executive Vice President & Head of Payments and Digital Banking PB at First Abu Dhabi Bank to understand the reason behind this partnership.
Why did First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) decide to be part of Huawei AppGallery and why is the partnership unique?
One of the core values of First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) is customer focus. We want to be wherever our customers are which means that whichever platform our customers are on, we want to be part of that platform. More than 10% of our customers use Huawei phones so being part of the Huawei AppGallery was an easy decision to make.
Huawei has a pretty strong AppGallery. One of the core reasons to offer our mobile banking or applications on a platform, is the security of the platform. Huawei offers a very strong security layer with a four-factor authentication on developer approval and with a full review of the process. This means real time authentication and real time review. We are therefore very comfortable with Huawei’s security layers and with our customers using Huawei phones to access the FAB Mobile Banking application - hence the partnership.
How does mobile banking with FAB create value for its customers?
Our mobile banking strategy is always about creating value for our customers. As part of our digital strategy, we believe in mobile convergence. For us, convergence is the way forward. Today, we have a very strong proposition - FAB One which enables our customers to register and get their current account or savings account registered with a click of a button. They can do this simply by uploading their Emirates ID. The application process to get a current account takes less than two minutes. We also have pretty strong full digital journeys within our mobile banking application and existing customers are now able to get their credit cards with the click of a button. We also have our existing personal loan customers who can seamlessly top up their personal loans based on eligibility criteria through a click of a button. Everything for us is about building journeys that are completely convergent.
That's on the sales side. On the service side, we are moving away from a very branch and contact-centric based model to a mobile-based model where our customers are given opportunities to chat. There is also an inbox within mobile banking, as well as in-app notifications. Many more artificial intelligence and bot usage tools are also going to come to fruition very soon so our customers can raise a service request and get their issues or requests addressed. The value we bring is the convergence of our mobile platform to make it more than a transactional tool and more of a life cycle app for our customers.
What is FAB's mobile banking strategy?
FAB's mobile banking strategy is all about hyper-personalisation. We want to move away from every app looking like the same traditional financial services app to creating a more hyper-personalized app for each and every customer. To do this we are building robust tools to better understand our customer needs and preferences for example whether they look to the left or the right side of their screen or up and down as well as what features they need. That's how hyper-personalization is built.
We are also working on platform independent models. We want to be a part of platforms with APIs which enable us to connect with the right FinTechs that can work with us to build a futuristic platform. It's all about the right partnership and being a part of those platforms to give us those partnerships which add value to our customers. At the end of the day, our customers have to get the best services and options from their mobile banking.
What do you expect from this partnership with Huawei?
Back to our FAB mobile banking strategy and our application being part of the platform. We want to be in partnership with all the players who provide us with those platforms and Huawei AppGallery is the third largest application store platform that is available in the world. And with so many applications available, so many developers around and all the fintech associations we want to have, we want to be part of those platforms. That's where our association with Huawei has come from. Huawei has the HMS Core which is a platform that provides innovation for developers. We want to benefit from all these developers who come up with new applications that can provide value to our customers.
How was FAB’s experience launching on Huawei AppGallery?
Our experience working closely with Huawei was fantastic and it was all about both teams wanting to make something happen. Dedicated people – experts in their field, worked with our mobile banking teams to drive the launch of the FAB Mobile app on the Huawei AppGallery. Moving forward, we are going to look at more customer awareness campaigns to work on with Huawei. It's a partnership which is not about technology, a vendor or a banking provider - it's all about us coming together to provide the right value for our customers.
Huawei also has a very strong one-stop-shop for operational support. We can benefit a lot from this and their team of around 3,000 people offering strong engineering support across the globe. We have a strong partnership with them and their superior support will help us to ensure we provide the right services to our customers. The partnership is something that is a win-win for us, our customers and for Huawei.