(MENAFN – The Peninsula) Sachin Kumar/ The Peninsula
Making use of the latest technology, banks in Qatar are prodding residents to go digital. Banks have rolled out innovative products and services that are encouraging customers to use digital channels to complete their banking transactions.
Banks have introduced new features in ATMs, credit and debit cards and their mobile applications which have enabled customers to do banking transactions from their home.
Although almost all the banks in Qatar were swift in adopting the latest technology, COVID-19 outbreak accelerated the pace of launch of technology-based banking solutions.
‘The role of technology in the banking sector is set to increase in coming days. Adoption of technology is a win-win situation which not only benefits the banks but also the customers. For banks, the technology reduces operation cost, whereas for customers it provides ease of doing banking because they can do banking from their home and at any time, a senior banking official told The Peninsula.
Digital banking has also played a supporting role in limiting the spread of COVID-19 as customers now prefer to do banking transactions from their home, instead of going to a bank branch.
‘Before COVID-19 outbreak, I used to go to a bank branch for some of my banking needs, because I was not well versed with Internet technologies. Now I am doing all my banking transactions through Internet, because it is now better to stay at home, due to COVID-19 outbreak, a civil engineer with a construction firm told The Peninsula.
Commercial Bank has launched the Digital Cheque Deposit service, an innovation that allows customers to process Commercial Bank cheques via the bank’s mobile application. The bank has also launched e-Gift feature which allows customers to send cash gift to their loved ones. Customers can send an e-Gift as a transfer through its ATM network in Qatar, or as a local or international account transfer. e-Gift combines the convenience and swiftness of electronic money transfer with the personalised touch of a greeting card. The recipient is notified via SMS and email with an electronic greeting card with a personalised message. The recipient can then withdraw the amount from any of Commercial Bank’s ATMs in Qatar.
Banks in Qatar have rolled out contactless cards that have removed the need for pressing the Personal Identification Number (PIN) at the retail outlets. Contactless cards allow customers to pay by simply tapping the card on the Point of Sale (PoS) machines or ATMs. Contactless transactions are as safe as traditional card payment transactions. Each transaction uses state-of-the-art security to generate a random verification code that cannot be counterfeited. It also provides more control, since the card does not leave customer’s hand to be swiped by the merchant.
Every time a customer performs a contactless transaction he gets informed immediately via SMS alerts. This way, he knows all the time the transactions that were performed using cards. The ease of using these cards is prompting residents to go for cashless transactions.
QNB has given more reason to its customers to use its contactless cards. From June 28 to December 24 this year, every time a customer uses his QNB Mastercard Contactless Card, he will be eligible to enter daily prize draw. The more he uses card, the better will be his chances to win latest electronic gadgets.
QNB is also offering 10 percent upfront discount when booking accommodation on Booking.com using QNB Cards. This offer is valid until December 31 for stays up to 14 months from booking date.
Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) has introduced new features to its Mobile App. With the new QIB Mobile App updates, eligible Qatari customers can now postpone their Personal Finance Monthly Installment through the Mobile App. This solution allows QIB eligible customers to postpone their next three months’ personal finance installments and provides them with the option of adjusting the new financing to take place after the maturity of their existing finance terms.
The app also allows opening of exclusive Certificates of Deposit for COVID-19 frontliners, filling and submitting the Common Reporting Standard (CRS), and completing Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA) declarations.
According to the bank’s website, the employees of the Ministry of Public Health, Hamad Medical Corporation, Primary Health Care Corporation, Sidra Medical and Research Center, Ahli Hospital, American Hospital Doha, Doha Clinic, Al Emadi Hospital, in addition to the Ministry of Interior personnel and volunteers can now request the exclusive Certificate of Deposit for COVID-19 front-liners through the QIB Mobile App.
The Certificate of Deposit is introduced to help front-liners increase their long-term savings, with a minimum amount of QR5,000 and no maximum amount. These special Certificates of Deposit offer exclusive returns allowing COVID-19 frontline employees to benefit from a higher expected profit rate.
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