Encouraged by the success of its digital initiatives in the first half of 2021, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB) is poised to implement a host of new tech-driven initiatives over the next six months as part of its Islamic fintech transformation journey which began 18 months ago.
ADIB, which has grown its community of digitally active customers by 30% during the January–June 2021 period, is implementing a paperless branch strategy with the goal of eradicating the use of over two million papers by the end of this year. This is part of a wider fintech strategy which includes deploying artificial intelligence (AI) technology to clear cheques. Currently, 400 cheques are processed completely free of human interaction daily thanks to AI — by the end of December, the bank hopes that 65% of all cheques will be cleared digitally. The financier is also working on new upgrades for its chatbot program which currently resolves some 85% of customer queries.
“Our digital transformation journey does not stop here, and we are in fact doubling down on ramping up our digital offerings and capabilities. We have a number of initiatives due to be rolled out in the near term such as paperless branches and a brand-new banking app,” shared Samih Awadhalla, ADIB’s head of distribution channels.
ADIB began aggressively tackling the digital agenda at the start of 2020. Since then, it has grown its pool of digitally enabled customers to about 700,000, which represents a record of 70% of customers who are active on a daily or weekly basis. Over the last 18 months, the Islamic bank generated growths of 58% and 31% in digital usage for the opening of current accounts and personal finance transactions respectively.
The focus on digital has led to an 88% surge in online money transfers and an 8% decline in cash withdrawals as well as a 6% drop in cheque deposits through its physical branch network. Over 95% of these retail services were completed virtually. The corporate banking side is also yielding promising success. Wholesale banking group daily transactions hit a record 21,000 high in June 2021, up 95% year-on-year. Approximately 90% of corporate transactions are executed digitally, a 60% leap from 2020. Business banking, on the other hand, experienced a 27% year-on-year increase in transactions to 56,000 at the end of June 2021; about 92% of business banking activities were concluded digitally, a 75% improvement from the year before.