Faisal Islamic Bank (FIB) will become one of the first banks in Sudan to issue cashless payment products via global payment platform Visa, a turning point in the bank’s history and a significant milestone in its growth journey.
While the ability to issue Visa payment credentials may almost be a given in most other markets, for Sudan, this is a major step forward as the Republic for decades had remained insular due to years of debilitating economic and financial sanctions. Although the sanctions were lifted in 2017, foreign banks and investors remained reluctant to reengage, particularly as the US continues to view Sudan as a state sponsor of terrorism.
It was only as recent as this April that US payment giant Visa managed to penetrate the Sudanese market of about 40 million. Bank of Khartoum is another Sudanese bank to have received a regulatory license to issue Visa payment products.
“This indeed is a landmark moment not only for FIB but for the whole nation as Visa is the first US-based financial payment solutions provider entering Sudan after decades of economic embargo. Over the last few months, FIB worked closely with Visa to ensure we were able to launch these solutions in Sudan,” Moawia Ahmed Elamin, CEO of FIB, shared. “With the arrival of Visa payment solutions in Sudan, we are quite confident that this will encourage other international institutions to start correspondent banking relationships with Sudan. We are looking forward to working with both Visa and the regulator to offer Visa products and solutions to our Sudanese customers.”
This new development comes as the bank mobilizes a new strategy anchored by a rebranding exercise. At the heart of the new strategy is technology. In an interview with IFN, the sister publication of IFN Fintech, Moawie explained: “FIB will continue to strongly leverage technology to improve its operations and provide quality service to its customers, and accordingly, the strategy is expected to make a major shift in the bank’s positioning, and expand its products and services scope.”