OAB Launches First Innovation Lab in the Financial Services Industry

Muscat, November 05, 2018: Oman Arab Bank (OAB), in a bid to accelerate its innovation journey and drive innovative thinking within the community, has announced the launch of the first ‘Innovation Lab’ in the Sultanate’s financial services industry. The Lab, which will occupy one floor at the OAB headquarters, will drive the development and implementation of innovative solutions that would shape the financial services industry. The ideas will be short-listed at ‘The Innovation Hub’ event, a 24-hour innovation platform that will enable participants to develop proof of concepts and act as an accelerator of winning innovations into the lab. The OAB Innovation Lab, together with The Innovation Hub, was launched at a Press Conference held at the Bank’s Headquarters in Al Ghubrah on the 5th of November 2018, in the presence of the Bank’s CEO, Rashad Al Musafir, together with other members of the Banks Executive Management and Staff.

Aimed at students, professionals and employees, this initiative has been 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.

Commenting on the launch of the new Innovation Lab, Rashad Al Musafir said, “We created this platform to support the development of a knowledge-based economy, by empowering professionals, students, and our employees, to become viable contributors in its evolution. At OAB, we recognize the important role that innovation plays in enriching human experiences, and we have set a strong internal and external innovation agenda to deliver value across our customers’ ecosystems.”

The themes of the Innovation Hub are: Youth banking, superior customer experience, digital economy and payments, and an open category for other innovation ideas. The innovation hub is scheduled for January 25, 2019.

Anyone interested in participating will be required to register their team for The Innovation Hub on www.oman-arabbank.com/theinnovationhub with their proposed idea and team members’ names. The cut-off date for registrations will be December 15, 2018.

The initiative will also encompass several activities prior to the competition date including roadshows for students later this month followed by training workshops in December for participating student and staff teams by the Bank’s partners at the Head Office. These workshops will cover a brief introduction to the bank’s products and services, ideation, and developing proof of concepts.

Commenting on the competition, Leen Al Atassi, the Head of Innovation at OAB said, “This initiative has been established as a long-term investment for the Bank and reinforces our commitment to nurturing local talent and positioning OAB as a forward thinker and innovator that is connected with the community. The Innovation Hub would act as an accelerator, with winning innovations being incorporated into the Innovation Lab. Furthermore, this competition is only the beginning and we have several plans in place for this initiative going forward.”

The Innovation Hub by OAB will begin on January 25, 2019 and will take place over a 24-hour period with the winners being announced on the evening of the following day.

The winning teams from each category will be presented with the opportunity to join the Bank’s ‘Innovation Lab’ within the Bank, to develop their ideas further so that they may be implemented. The winning student team will receive a cash prize and also be presented with an opportunity to work on other innovations as part of a paid internship, together with the 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 also be presented with special incentives and opportunities for career advancement within the Bank.

A Mentoring Panel has also been established, comprising senior members of the Bank’s staff and management, in order to help and support the teams on the day of the contest and later in the Lab.

“We encourage any student or professional interested in the contest to put a team together and challenge yourselves to think up innovative solutions; ones that could enhance customer experiences, shape our digital economy and payments solutions and maybe even revolutionise a key aspect of banking in Oman,” Al Atassi concluded.

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 148 ATMs spread across the Sultanate. OAB provides a complete range of financial products and services for personal banking, corporate and investment clients.