Over 320 Participate in OAB’s Innovation Hub Competition

Winning Teams to be inducted into Innovations Lab at OAB Headquarters

Muscat, January 28, 2019: Oman Arab Bank (OAB), in line with its objective to accelerate its innovation journey and drive innovative thinking within the community, recently hosted ‘The Innovation Hub’ event. The 24-hour innovation platform saw the participation of over 70 teams, totalling over 320 participants, each of whom developed proof of concepts based on predefined themes. The winning team from each of the three categories – ‘Students’, ‘Professionals’, and ‘OAB Staff’ – will now join the Bank’s recently launched ‘Innovation Lab’, which will act as an accelerator of these winning innovations and further drive their development and implementation. The Innovation Hub event took place at the Bank’s Headquarters in Al Ghubrah on January 25,2019, over the course of 24 hours, and was attended by HH Sayyid Faisal bin Turki Al Said, Rashad Al Zubair, Chairman of OAB, Eng. Yousuf Al Harthy, CEO of Oman Technology Fund, and the Bank’s CEO, Rashad Al Musafir, together with other members of the Bank’s Executive Management and Staff.

The event began in the morning on January 25, starting with the registration process and a short orientation for the participants. This was followed shortly by an opening speech by Rashad Al Musafir, who said, “Our world today is moving very fast, faster than we can ever imagine. Competition is fierce and technology is developing at a very rapid pace. Artificial intelligence, automated learning, Internet of things, automation of processes, Blockchain, big data are all headlines of the next wave of changes in the business world and specifically in banks. The economy as a whole is based on knowledge and those who possess it will be able to control and lead these changes. We are aiming for our Innovation Hub platform to be the starting point on this path, one that should lead to more sustainable growth for the sector within the Sultanate.”

Aimed at students, professionals and employees, this initiative was developed to empower local talent and entrepreneurs to become viable contributors to the evolution of our economy through the power of innovation and the spirit of competition. The themes of the Innovation Hub were Youth banking, superior customer experience, digital economy and payments, and an open category for other innovative ideas. The initiative encompassed several activities prior to the competition date itself including roadshows for students and training workshops for participating student and staff teams by the Bank’s partners at the Head Office.

Following the CEO’s speech, the attendees were there given a presentation on Global Digital Banking Trends by the guest speaker, Arnold Gutmann, Senior Executive Partner at Gartner. Shortly thereafter, at 01:00 pm, the 24-hour competition started.

Commenting on the platform, Leen Al Atassi, Head of Innovation at OAB said, “This initiative was aimed at providing the participating teams of OAB employees, young students from various universities and colleges, and professionals, including start-ups, fintechs, and IT professionals, the opportunity to develop new and sustainable solutions within the banking and financial sector. It was also aimed at reinforcing OAB’s position as an enabler and accelerator of innovative ideas and platforms in the sector. This is just the beginning, and we look forward to working closely with our short-listed teams to develop these innovations in our first-of-its-kind innovation lab in the Sultanate.”

The Innovation Hub, over the course of the 24-hour competition period, and under the guidance and support of a dedicated Mentoring Panel, comprising senior members of the Bank’s staff and management, the teams developed each of their innovative ideas. In addition, the event also included a number of recreational activities, including an evening performance by ‘Flat 25’ and a Poetry Night in a dedicated ‘Chill Out Zone’, PlayStation competitions, graffiti by a local artist, and many other games and activities.

The competition came to a close at 01:00 pm on January 26, following which the final ideas were presented to the judge’s panel, which comprised a team of industry experts.

The Award ceremony announcing the winners was hosted later the same day at the Bank’s Headquarters. Coming out on top in the ‘Students’ category was team ‘One Last Time’, with special commendation given to the team ‘Technovators’ for the most creative idea. Winning the ‘Professionals’ category was ‘Connected Solutions’. Last but not least, was the winner of the ‘OAB Staff’ category, which was a team comprised of staff from various departments within the Bank. The awards were presented to the winning teams by Rashad Al Zubair and the CEO. These three winning teams will now be inducted into the Bank’s ‘Innovation Lab’, to develop their ideas further so that they may be implemented.

Congratulating the winning teams, Leen said, “Each and every team that participated developed and presented some truly innovative and inspirational ideas. This event was a showcase of the latent talent and skill of both students and professionals in Oman and what they are capable of achieving in just 24 hours. Ultimately, however, there could only be one winner per category. On behalf of OAB, I would like to congratulate each of the three teams on their victory. It was truly well deserved and we look forward to working more closely with them in further developing their ideas in our Innovation Lab.”

In addition, the winning student team also received a cash prize and will be presented with an opportunity to work on their innovations as part of a paid internship, together with potential opportunities for recruitment. The winning professional team, on the other hand, will be entered into a signed partnership agreement with OAB to develop and implement their idea within the Bank. While members of the winning OAB staff team will be presented with special incentives and opportunities for career advancement within the Bank.

“On behalf of every member at Oman Arab Bank, I would like to extend my gratitude and appreciation to our partners in this journey of innovation – our guest judges Talal Hasan, Growth Venture Investor at IDO, Maha Al Balushi, Managing Director at Oman Tech Fund, and Dr Khalid Tahhan, CEO of Blockchain Society, for their valuable contributions to the success of such a monumental event and for their help in driving innovation in the Sultanate. I would also like to thank our partners – IBM, GBM, ODP, MasterCard, JMR, NCR, Interactive Life, NNTC, NetInfo, Omantel, Oracle, Muscat East and Red Bull,” concluded Rashad Al Musafir.

Oman Arab Bank is one of the first banks to be established in Oman, with a rich and proud history. Today, the bank operates a nationwide network of 65 branches and representative offices and 152 ATMs spread across the Sultanate. OAB provides a complete range of financial products and services for personal banking, corporate and investment clients.

OAB Hosts Annual Staff Town Hall Meeting

Reflects on achievements of 2018 and reveals strategic plan for 2019 to staff

Muscat, January 21, 2019: Oman Arab Bank (OAB), last weekend, hosted a special ‘Town Hall Meeting’ at Grand Millennium Muscat, which was attended by over 470 members of staff from across the Bank’s branch network.  The event was attended by Abdulaziz Al Balushi, a Board Member of OAB, and was presided over by Rashad Al Musafir, the CEO of OAB. The event reflected on the many achievements of the Bank over the course of 2018 while also touching upon its strategic plans and goals for the year ahead.

Commenting on the event, Rashad Al Musafir said, “2018 has been an extremely successful year for us at OAB. Such success is in part due to the continued patronage and loyalty of our customers, together with the hard work, dedication and passion of our staff. This is why we consider each and every member of our staff as a very highly valued member of the OAB family.”

“As with any corporate family, total transparency is always the key to its continued success. It is in line with this ideology that we host our annual gathering, wherein we collectively reflect on the progress made and milestones achieved by OAB over the course of the past year, as well as reveal in detail our future plans and goals,” added Rashad.

The event, which began at 8:00am on Saturday, January 19, included an overview of the Bank presented by the CEO as well as its outlook, plans, and goals for the coming year. As part of the presentation, a video was played showcasing the bank’s achievements and milestones over the course of 2018. The event also included a talk and interactive session with the CEO, where staff were presented with an opportunity to engage in an open forum with him regarding the Bank as a whole.

“We have made significant progress on all fronts in the past year, with particular attention given to the critical enhancements to our IT infrastructure, risk management framework, and updating our digital channels, as well as the launch of our innovation hub, developing our people, and much more. Furthermore, as part of our ongoing branch transformation strategy, we relocated, transformed, and launched 8 new branches across the country, 3 of which were state-of-the-art flagship branches,” said Rashad, commenting on the Bank’s achievements in 2018. “With strong foundations now in place, we are entering 2019 in a position of strength. Over the next 12 months we will continue to look for and capitalise on key opportunities, introducing innovative new products, concepts and ideas that will set the trend for the market to follow and end 2019 on an even higher note than we did this year.”

During its annual event, OAB had set up an interactive wall for staff to use, illustrating the transformational story of OAB and its operations in 2018. In addition, the Bank had setup four interactive stations for staff to use on location, each delving deeper into the details of some key operations, namely – LEAD, Workplace by Facebook, NFC technology, and Innovation Hub. Additionally, a special commemorative prize draw was held for all OAB staff that attended the event.

Oman Arab Bank is one of the first banks to be established in Oman, with a rich and proud history. Today, the bank operates a nationwide network of 65 branches and representative offices and 152 ATMs spread across the Sultanate. OAB provides the complete range of financial products and services for personal banking, corporate and investment clients.

OAB Introduces a Fun Way to Bank for Youth

  • Exclusive to customers between ages of 18 to 24
  • Free internet data and discounts at more than 50 merchants in Oman
  • Instant personalized Debit Cards issued at 30 branches
  • Exclusive access to top social and sports events

Muscat, January 20, 2018: Oman Arab Bank (OAB), has launched a new account to help youth manage their money effectively and encourage active savings from an early age. OAB’s Youth Account has been designed specifically for students between the ages of 18 to 24.  It offers free mobile data, together with special discounts at numerous participating merchants across the country.

In partnership with Omantel, the Youth account comes with exclusive benefits, including up to 24GB of free mobile data annually. The free data is available to Youth account holders simply by maintaining a minimum monthly saving of OMR 200. In addition, all Youth account holders are also eligible to participate in the special youth draws as part of the Hasaad Savings Scheme Draws, by meeting the required minimum monthly balance for each draw.

Building on the bank’s commitment to enhancing its customers’ banking experience across all its customer touchpoints; OAB has simplified the account opening journey by issuing instant and personalised Debit Cards for youth account holders at 30 branches across the Sultanate.

Commenting on the launch, Rashad Al Sheikh, Deputy General Manager of Retail Banking at OAB said, “At OAB, we are committed to developing innovative products and services to better serve every demographic of our customer base. This latest product has been specifically designed with our youth in mind, emphasising to them the importance of financial independence whilst at the same time encouraging them to save by offering them exciting incentives and unique offers and benefits to help them make the most of their finances.”

Saleem Abdullatiff, General Manager of Marketing at Omantel’s Enterprise Unit, said “We are glad to partner with Oman Arab Bank to offer Youth Account holders free mobile internet, which comes as part of our long-standing cooperation with OAB and to encourage youth to use Internet and mobile banking more often. This also comes in line with Oman’s progress towards a digitally transformed nation where youth play a major role. As a national company that strives to enrich lives around the Sultanate, Omantel is keen on paving the way for a thriving digital society through successful partnerships and enhance customers’ experience. We will continue to provide youth with great offers and support initiatives that increase their role in the society.”

OAB Youth Account holders will also have exclusive access to key social and sports events across the country and will enjoy an enhanced digital banking experience as part of the second phase of the launch later this year.

Oman Arab Bank is one of the first banks to be established in Oman, with a rich and proud history. Today, the bank operates a nationwide network of 65 branches and representative offices and 152 ATMs spread across the Sultanate. OAB provides the complete range of financial products and services for personal banking, corporate and investment clients.

Members of OAB Management Attend Training Course organised by University of Pennsylvania

Muscat, December 23, 2018: As part of its constant endeavour to support the growth and skills development of its staff, Oman Arab Bank (OAB) recently saw three members of its senior management attend a three-day specialised management course in Dubai. The training program titled ‘Leading People in Organisations’, organised by the Wharton International Business School of the University of Pennsylvania and attended by Khalid Al Barwani, Head of Large Corporate at Corporate Institutional Banking, Ahmed Al Kharusi, Head of Branches Support Department at Retail Banking Group, and Mahfoudh Al Rawahi, Head of Central Operations.

Commenting on the course and the importance of training at OAB, Adil Al Rahbi, Head of the Human Resources Division said, “At OAB we strongly believe that the most effective method for professional growth is to recognise ones existing strengths and build on them new skills and talents garnered through specialised training programmes. This is especially true for staff in managerial positions in today’s fast-paced, globally connected business environment. This is exactly why we chose this particular programme as it was designed specifically to achieve this objective.”

Taught by two of Wharton Executive Education’s most esteemed faculty, ‘Leading People in Organisations’ is a program that combines different educational approaches to provide an in-depth understanding of the importance of talent development to organisational success. The program was focused on five major areas of interest understanding each person’s individual leadership style, managing conflict, performance management, motivation and retention, talent management, and managing in social networks. The program ensured ample time with faculty allowing the participants to acquire and fine-tune new tools and approaches, and become part of a learning community of highly experienced executives that can continue throughout their career.

“Right from our inception, we have always worked towards enriching the learning experience of our employees by constantly developing their proficiency and key skills within the industry, regardless of their position within the organisation. This programme is just one of several that that we have members of our staff attend throughout the year and run alongside several other training programmes and initiatives we develop in house. Each of these are ultimately aimed at developing the future leaders of the Banking sector,” added Adil. “On behalf of the Bank I would like to congratulate Khalid, Ahmed, and Mahfoudh on the successful completion of the programme. I am confident the skills and knowledge they gained from the programme will enable each of them to become more effective leaders; in turn improving the efficiency and productivity of each of their respective departments.”

Organised by Wharton International Business School, ‘Leading People in Organisations’ is designed to identifying participants’ current leadership strengths and enhance them with cutting-edge tools and approaches, provide them with a unique opportunity to take their leadership to the next level.

Oman Arab Bank is proud to have achieved the highest Omanisation percentage within the banking sector, nearing 96%. It is also one of the first banks to be established in Oman with a rich and proud history. Today, the bank operates a nationwide network of 65 branches and representative offices and 150 ATMs spread across the Sultanate. OAB also provides a complete range of financial products and services for personal banking, corporate, and investment clients.

12 Customers Win Round Trip to London in OAB-Emirates Draw

Muscat, December 06, 2018: Oman Arab Bank (OAB) together with Emirates Airline conducted a draw where 12 lucky customers won a free round trip flight to London with Emirates. The draw was conducted as part of an exclusive partnership between Oman Arab Bank (OAB) and Emirates Airline earlier in the year; wherein customers would enjoy exclusive discount offerings on online ticket purchases and Emirates Holidays packages. Furthermore, as part of the offer, any customer who applied for a new OAB Credit Card between May 01 and July 31, 2018, were entered into this exclusive draw.

The draw to pick the 12 lucky winners was recently conducted at the Bank’s Headquarters in Ghubra, and was attended by Rashad Al Shaikh, DGM – Retail Banking at OAB and Saeed bin Hafez, Emirates Country Manager Oman, together with other members of management and staff from both companies.

Commenting on the new offer, Rashad Al Shaikh, DGM – Retail Banking said, “At OAB we are always looking for opportunities to provide our customers with greater value from our products and services, be it through value additions, offers, promotions, and more. This offer with Emirates has been one of our most popular to date. We look forward to collaborating with them again in the future for similar promotions.”

Saeed bin Hafez, Emirates Country Manager Oman said, “Our partnership with OAB has been a very successful one, adding more value to OAB  card holders through broader travel benefits, discounts and packages. We would like to congratulate each of the 12 winners of the draw and wish them an enjoyable trip to London.”

Aside from the draw, all existing OAB customers who used their OAB cards to purchase Emirates tickets online at emirates.com/om/oab, between May 01 and July 31, 2018, received up to 10% discount on annual and promotional fares. In addition, OAB customers can still avail of a 10% discount on Emirates Holidays packages purchased and used before December 31, 2018. Customers are required to use their OAB cards to purchase the packages online at www.emiratesholidays.com/om_en/pages/oab.

OAB offers a range of VISA Credit Cards comprising of VISA Internet, Classic, Gold, Platinum, and Infinite; each of which come with a range of benefits including high credit limits, flexible repayment options, complementary airport lounge access, insurance options, and much more depending on the type of card issued. However, all cards benefit from OAB’s reward points – a comprehensive loyalty program from for the Bank’s Credit Card members offering an array of privileges. It has been designed to keep each customer’s unique lifestyle needs in mind and is amongst the most rewarding value additions to any OAB card holder. Whether it is travelling, staying in a resort, dining out, or shopping for business or pleasure, the OAB Rewards gives each customer more of what they enjoy.

Oman Arab Bank is one of the first banks to be established in Oman, with a rich and proud history. Today, the bank operates a nationwide network of 65 branches and representative offices and 150 ATMs spread across the Sultanate. OAB provides the complete range of financial products and services for personal banking, corporate and investment clients.

Emirates operates three daily flights from Muscat to over 150 global destinations via its hub in Dubai. Onboard, passengers can look forward to world-class in-flight menus and the award-winning ice system with up to 3,500 channels of entertainment.

OAB Sponsors Inter-School Contest in Al Buraimi

Muscat, 11 December 2018: As part of its commitment to the community, Oman Arab Bank (OAB) recently sponsored the closing ceremony of the competition ‘The Best Electronic tool for Mathematical education’ across schools of the Al Buraimi Governate. The event was organised by the Directorate General of Education in Al Buraimi. The ceremony was held under the auspices of Ahmed bin Amer al Kharousi, Assistant General Manager of Retail Banking and Head of Regional Management and Branch Support Department at OAB, and saw the attendance of Ali bin Abdullah Al Nuaimi, Assistant Director General, and Ali bin Faris Al Azzani, Assistant Director General of the Directorate General of Education in Al Buraimi, together with a number of administrative experts, educators, line managers, principals, and PE teachers.

Commenting on the Bank’s sponsorship of the event, Hilal Omar al Siyabi, Head of the Corporate Social Responsibility Department at OAB noted, “OAB believes in innovation as the key approach to development. Hence, we sponsored this competition; one that revolves around developing electronic tools that best serves Mathematics education. This event was organised by the Directorate General of Education in Al Buraimi, as it serves the innovative approach they take towards helping teachers in their jobs. We are proud of the innovative ideas presented by the participating schools, which will reflect positively on students in the schools of the Governate.”

Abdulaziz al Balushi, a Mathematics teacher at Al Afi Primary School, commented on the competition saying, “The aim of this competition is to provide Mathematics teachers with an opportunity to share their creative and innovative ideas with regards to electronic teaching aids that could serve teaching jobs, which in turn would also break the routine of the usual curriculum; introducing new learning resources and experiences to attract students.”

The ceremony included students from various schools of the Governorate putting up some shows and the chief guest handing over the prizes to the winning schools in each of the different categories of the competition.

Oman Arab Bank is one of the first banks to be established in Oman with a rich and proud history. Today, the bank operates a nationwide network of 65 branches and representative offices and 150 ATMs spread across the Sultanate. OAB also provides a complete range of financial products and services for Retail and corporate banking clients.

OAB Delegation Visits SMEs in Dhakliya

Muscat, 16 December 2018: In recognition of the importance of SMEs to the growth of the economy, Oman Arab Bank (OAB) recently conducted a visit to Dhakliya region to visit SMEs it had supported in the past, as well as explore new opportunities for partnerships. The delegation from OAB included several members of the Bank’s Corporate Banking department and was headed by the CEO, Rashad Al Musafir.

Commenting on the visit, Rashad Al Musafir said, “Small and Medium Enterprises play a vital role in developing any country’s national economy, especially for one such as ours that looking towards further economic diversification. SMEs also provide vital employment opportunities and encourage self-employment. This is why place great importance in offering them as much support as possible; be it by offering them innovative tailor-made financial products with all processes being completed in a timely manner, offering them consultancy and guidance services, or by tying up with various other entities that are supporting SMEs to help boost their services.”

The visit saw the delegation visited craftsmen and SMEs in the Dhakliya region. A large number of these visits were to companies and individuals the Bank had supported in the past in order to see how their businesses were developing as well as to obtain their feedback on the services and products offered by OAB. In addition, the delegation was also on the lookout for new opportunities for collaboration and partnerships as well as to develop synergies with companies under its support umbrella in order to further boost the growth and development of SMEs in the region.

“The SME sector greatly contributes to economic diversification and social stability, and plays an important role in private sector development. Meeting such as these help us collectively recognise the untapped and profitable opportunities present within the sector as well as provides us with a better understanding of how we can cater to as SME’s financial needs,” concluded Rashad.

Oman Arab Bank is one of the first banks to be established in Oman, with a rich and proud history. Today, the bank operates a nationwide network of 65 branches and representative offices and 150 ATMs spread across the Sultanate. OAB provides the complete range of financial products and services for personal banking, corporate and investment clients.

OAB Received STP Award from Citibank

Muscat, December 31, 2018: Oman Arab Bank (OAB) was recently recognised as one of the best ‘Straight Through Processing’ (STP) banks in Oman by Citibank, a globally renowned financial firm.

Commenting on the award, Mahfoudh Sultan Al Rawahi, the Head of Branches Central Operations at OAB said, “We are honoured to receive this award from Citibank. Industry recognitions such as this not only underscores our efforts to ensure accuracy of electronic payments, but also incentivises us to step-up our operations and processes by always adopting the best international practices.”

The award was presented to the Bank at its headquarters in Al Ghubra by Mohammed Ahmed Al Hammadi, the vice president of correspondence banking group at Citibank. Mahfoudh Sultan Al Rawahi received the award on behalf of OAB and was accompanied by members of staff from the Bank’s Central Operations department.

The award was presented to OAB in appreciation of the quality and accuracy payments sent by OAB, wherein the Bank maintained an outstanding of 95% modification-free rate for bank remittances in USD.

“Our success as a Bank, both in terms of remittances as well as our other retail and commercial products and services, can be attributed to our continued emphasis on implementing the best global standards in managing our processes, people, and service delivery,” added Mahfoudh.

Oman Arab Bank is one of the first banks to be established in Oman, with a rich and proud history. Today, the bank operates a nationwide network of 65 branches and representative offices across and 150 ATMs spread across the Sultanate. OAB provides the complete range of financial products and services for personal banking, corporate and investment clients.

OAB Announces November Winners for Hasaad Savings Scheme 2018

Muscat, December 30, 2018: Oman Arab Bank (OAB) recently conducted its Hasaad draw for the month of November, at its Head Office in Ghubra. The draw saw 83 winners from across the Bank’s branch network receiving OMR 1,000 each, together with one winner of OMR 20,000 as part of the Monthly Elite Draw.

Commenting on the draw for October, Rashad Al Sheikh, Deputy General Manager of Retail Banking at OAB said, “With the November draw completed, we have just one more draw left, for the month of December, as part of the Hasaad Savings Scheme 2018. There are however 85 prizes to be won in the final draw, including an OMR 50,000 draw for Elite and an OMR 20,000 regional draw covering Muscat branches.  This final draw is set to take place in the first half of January 2019.”

Hasaad Savings Scheme in its current edition offers the Bank’s clients across all regions and branches a chance to win one of several valuable prizes on a monthly basis. These prizes come as part of the Bank’s monthly draws, alternating between OMR 1,000 and OMR 500 per winner every month, across all branches. Regional Prize Draws, which will see one winner of OMR 20,000, conducted once every two months over the course of the year. The Hasaad Savings Scheme will also include 12 dedicated prize draws for Elite account holders with one winner of OMR 50,000 every quarter and one winner of OMR 20,000 for every month in between.

“On behalf of OAB I would like to congratulate each of the winners of the November Hasaad Savings Scheme draw; as well as encourage our other customers to continue saving so as to maximise their chances of winning in the upcoming final draw of the Hasaad Savings Scheme 2018,” added Rashad.

Oman Arab Bank is one of the first banks to be established in Oman with a rich and proud history. Today, the bank operates a nationwide network of 65 branches and representative offices and 150 ATMs spread across the Sultanate. OAB also provides a complete range of financial products and services for Retail and corporate banking clients.

OAB launches host of Innovative Digital Solutions

Muscat, January 07, 2018: Oman Arab Bank (OAB) kicks off 2019 with the launch of a host of new customer centric innovations as part of its ongoing digital transformation journey. Headlining the press conference, which was held on January 06 at the Bank’s headquarters in Ghubra, were OAB’s Next Gen ATM capabilities including ‘Tap & Go’ payments, and enabling of Instant Rewards as well as Discounts at Points of Sale (POS) machines across OAB’s network of select merchant partners.

The press launch was presided over by the Bank’s CEO, Rashad Al Musafir, and accompanied by Fahd bin Amjad, the Head of the Retail Banking Group, and Rashad Al Shaikh, DGM – Retail Banking. Also in attendance were members of the media as well as members of the senior management and staff from OAB.

Commenting on the new launches, Rashad Al Musafir said, “Stepping into 2019, OAB is taking a more fervent approach towards its digitalisation process starting with the launch of these innovative new payment solutions and enhancing customer experience. This launch is in line with our objective of offering our customers the most advanced and hi-tech products and services; ones that will serve as benchmarks for the industry to follow in the country. The launch of these innovative new solutions represents a significant development for Oman Arab Bank and bring with it true quality of life improvements to our customer’s shopping experiences across the country.”

Headlining the press launch was the Bank’s new NFC (Near Field Communications) payment capability across its entire ATM network. This innovative technology, more commonly known as ‘Tap & Go’ or ‘Contactless Payment’, allows the customers to carry out ATM transactions by simply tapping their NFC enabled cards on the ATM. At ATMs this means customers can carry out cash withdrawals much faster than before without ever needing to insert their cards into the machines. This technology not only saves the physical card from wear and tear, but is also fully secure, requiring a customer’s PIN entry. Additionally; customers will also be able to make payment to merchants by simply tapping their NFC enabled cards on the POS machine, without even needing to enter their PIN code. The Bank is expecting to have the NFC feature enabled across most of OAB’s POS merchants by mid-2019.

“Our NFC solution utilise the very latest in security technologies to ensure that our customers’ data remains secure. During any transaction no personal information is transmitted except for only basic account information,” said Rashad Al Shaikh. “In addition, we have very advanced fraud detection systems in place to spot any unauthorised activity, ensuring that our customers can carry out all transactions with total peace-of-mind, knowing full well that their information is safe.”

In order to make use of these services, customers will require one of OAB’s newer NFC enabled cards. The Bank was the first in Oman to issue contactless cards and had already begun the roll out of these new cards early last year.

In addition to its NFC solutions, OAB also announced that it has partnered up several merchants and outlets in order to launch its new Instant Rewards Point Redemption feature on OAB Point of Sales machines. OAB Rewards is a comprehensive loyalty program that offers customers the opportunity to receive rewards points for purchases made on their OAB credit cards. The accumulated points can later be redeemed with airlines, hotels, car rental services and more in countries around the world. Alternatively, customers can instead opt to use the points as a cash-back option.

Using this newly introduced Instant Rewards Point Redemption feature, any OAB customer making purchases from Sharaf DG, Kargeen Café, Gloria Jeans and several other participating merchants can choose to pay, completely or partially, using their accumulated OAB Reward Points. The entire process is simple and fast and will be carried out seamlessly at the time of payment.

“We are glad to have partnered with prominent retail brand franchises to launch this innovative new service,” said Rashad Al Shaikh. “Going ahead, we are looking to partner up with several more brands, stores, and service outlets across the country to make this new feature more widely available for our customers.”

Another new soon to launch feature introduced at the event was the automated redemption of OAB Card Promotions. As part of its Card Promotions program, OAB has partnered up with several brands, companies, and service providers across the country to provide OAB cardholders with exclusive discounts and value added deals. With the new automated system in place, OAB customers will automatically receive these discounts directly from the POS machine without having to ask for them receiving immediate saving by using OAB Cards.

“This, alongside all of the other new systems we have launched today, reinforces our position as one of the most innovative, technology savvy, and customer centric banks in the country. However, we have no intention of stopping here. We also continue to explore new opportunities to further leverage these platforms to provide even greater convenience for customers going forward,” concluded Rashad Al- Musafir.

Oman Arab Bank is one of the first banks to be established in Oman, with a rich and proud history. Today, the bank operates a nationwide network of 65 branches and representative offices, and 152 ATMs spread across the Sultanate. OAB provides the complete range of financial products and services for personal banking, corporate and investment clients.