KUWAIT: Global Finance magazine presented National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) with a number of its annual awards as “Best Consumer Digital Bank” for 2021, totaling 10 awards on the level of Kuwait and the Middle East. The awards were received by Mohammed Al-Othman, General Manager of Consumer Banking, National Bank of Kuwait, and Mohammad Al-Kharafi, General Manager, Head of Group Operations, National Bank of Kuwait, on behalf of the bank in the ceremony held in Dubai.
Commenting on the received awards, Al-Othman said, “We are pleased to be honored with such a large variety of awards that reflect the huge achievement we have made and strengthens our position as a leading provider of digital banking services at the level of Kuwait and the region.” “The satisfaction of our customers and the recognition of leading international institutions like Global Finance magazine of the top-notch banking products, services and solutions we offer, give us pride and create greater responsibility and challenges than the ones we already managed to overcome.”
Commenting on NBK’s receiving the award of “Best Digital Bank” in Kuwait and Middle East, Al-Othman said: “We find it an exceptional accomplishment to win this award for 2020 and 2021, being amidst the exceptional circumstances in which all banks acted to accelerate their digital transformation to meet their customers’ needs, whereas we were ready with a proactive digital transformation strategy, great capabilities and a huge digital infrastructure that gave us the edge.”
“As usual, we at NBK were not content with the accomplished excellence, but rather continued to launch leading initiatives to meet the needs of our customers, despite the impacts of the pandemic and shutdown measures, so that our initiatives would integrate with our superior digital services and more significantly widen the gap with our closest competitors,” he continued. Al-Othman noted that the banking transactions made through NBK Mobile Banking, NBK Internet Banking, and ATMs/CDMs accounted for over 97.5 percent of the bank’s total transactions over the recent past period.
The most innovative
On winning “Most Innovative Digital Bank” award in Kuwait and the Middle East, Al-Othman said: “The real challenge is to continue to innovate advanced banking products and services, and maintain a leading position in this regard. However, we established key pillars to ensure such continuity, at foremost of which is setting a roadmap to automate our operations and increase reliance on artificial intelligence (AI), establishing NBK Data Center, which is one of the largest in the region, as well as NBK Digital Factory.”
“We introduce all innovative banking services for the first time in the Kuwaiti market, which is a testimony of our success in investing our huge capabilities and digital strategy, and its reflection on banking products, services and payment solutions that are on par with the latest and most advanced international levels,” Al-Othman continued.
NBK Mobile Banking
Commenting on naming NBK “Best Mobile Banking App” in Kuwait, Al-Othman said: “The NBK Mobile Banking App embodies our digital excellence, as it has become our largest branches and accounted for about 90 percent of transactions, thanks to the continued improvements and new services introduced in it, which are carefully designed according to our customers’ needs.”
“When I look at the size of the huge achievements we have made in developing the NBK Mobile Banking App, I feel proud, and, at the same time, mindful of the challenges posed to us by the advanced services we have provided that embody the future of digital services and the development of banking solutions. This led to raising the ceiling of ambition and expectations about what we will offer in the future, but I am fully confident in our ability as a team with huge potentials and a clear strategy to realize those ambitions.” “NBK Mobile Banking is witnessing a significantly increasing demand, especially in light of the circumstances posed by the pandemic, as reliance on mobile banking in making transactions increased, boosting mobile banking transactions by 46 percent,” he added.
Leading payment solutions
Recognizing its excellence in providing innovative advanced payment solutions, NBK was awarded “Best Bill Payment & Presentment” in Kuwait. Speaking on this award, Al-Othman said: “We have succeeded in changing the landscape of digital payment solutions in Kuwait during the last two years, by providing a range of advanced payment solutions even before the health crisis, including launching Fitbit Pay and Garmin Pay using smartwatches, as well as many other advanced solutions that followed, most notably Samsung Pay.”
NBK had launched the new Bill Splitting service, which allows dividing the bill amount among a group of people using the NBK Mobile Banking App, as part of the bank’s endeavors to provide the latest digital banking services to its customers to meet their needs and expectations across different NBK Digital Channels, basically NBK Mobile Banking.
Closer to you
NBK also received the award of “Best in Social Media Marketing and Services” in Kuwait, on which Al-Othman mentioned: “The top-notch banking experience and the exceptional services provided to NBK Customers begins with our strategy of communicating with them and carefully identifying their needs, and analyzing those data using the most advanced tools in order to provide banking products, services and solutions that help to meet them.”
Al-Othman noted that NBK performed exceptionally in communicating with customers and providing exquisite awareness content during the pandemic, as the number of followers of NBK social media accounts increased by 13 percent year-on-year during 2020, with 200,000 new followers, bringing the number of followers by the end of the year to 1.7 million followers
All transactions online
On winning the award of “Best in Lending” in Kuwait, Al-Othman commented: “There are no longer transactions that can be made only by visiting the branch, as our customers can apply for a loan or open an account / a deposit online or through the NBK Mobile Banking App. Additionally, NBK was the first bank in Kuwait to provide its customers with the online account opening service.”
“Even before the pandemic, we placed providing some transactions that were thought to be only possible through branches on our digital channels on the agenda of digital transformation roadmap, which made us well-prepared to meet our customers’ needs of in that regard during the pandemic and to enhance our capabilities to meet those needs. Looking forward, we expect the culture of reliance on digital transactions to continue significantly after the end of the crisis,” he added.
Largest rewards program
Speaking on NBK receiving “Best Online Product Offerings” award in Kuwait and the Middle East, Al-Othman stated: “Rewarding our customers is a key pillar of our strategy to meet their needs and represents a major part of our efforts to enrich their banking experience.” Al-Othman pointed out that the NBK Rewards Program is the largest in Kuwait by including 900 participating outlets of the leading brands.
Global Finance, founded in 1987, is one of the most reputable magazines specialized in finance and economics. It has a circulation of 50,000 readers in 187 countries, including senior corporate and financial officers responsible for making investment and strategic decisions at multinational companies and financial institutions. The magazine conducts various surveys annually about innovation and profitability for banks and financial institutions all over the world, based on which it selects top performers on the regional and international levels.
The key word is NBK team
Al-Othman emphasized that all the successes achieved by Consumer Banking Group at National Bank of Kuwait is thanks to NBK team, saying: “NBK team is the key word and the core of our strength and excellence. NBK employees, with their exquisite skills and expertise, sense of responsibility, initiative-taking and determination to excel are the cornerstone of all our leading achievements, innovations and initiatives.”
“I dedicate the awards and appreciation to NBK employees, especially those who worked day and night for continuous days under exceptional circumstances full of challenges that they were able to successfully overcome, and preserve NBK’s interests amidst those hard times experienced all over world. They have made remarkable achievements that will remain one of the brightest episodes in the bank’s rich history, proving that NBK is capable to maintain its leadership in the future thanks to these distinguished cadres,” he added.