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Mashreq Bank leads digital revolution with culture

In a riveting session at SIBOS 2023, Victor Penna, Executive Vice-President and Co-Head of Global Transaction Banking at Mashreq Bank, shared valuable insights into the bank’s digital transformation journey.

Mashreq Bank leads digital revolution with culture

Mashreq Bank, recognized as a leading wholesale and retail bank in the UAE, has extended its influence across the Middle East, with international branches in Hong Kong, New York, London, and Mumbai. At the core of its strategy is a bold, cloud-native approach that aims to revolutionize its entire service suite by 2025. This includes transitioning from traditional methods to a fully integrated cloud system for cash management, collections, documentary trade, and open account trade.

Central to Mashreq Bank’s strategy is enhancing the customer experience. The bank has streamlined its workflows and utilized APIs for real-time, tailored pricing. This simplification extends to their technology platforms, ensuring that they are not just efficient but also user-friendly, eschewing complex terminologies for clarity and ease of use. This focus is a testament to the bank’s commitment to customer-centricity.

Embracing a Digital-First Culture

Mashreq Bank’s transformation is not limited to technology alone; it also encompasses a cultural shift towards a digital-first mindset. Penna emphasized the bank’s dedication to fostering a culture where digital nativity is a way of life. By keeping abreast of industry trends and new technologies, Mashreq Bank encourages its employees to think digitally, both in their professional and personal lives. “We want people to embrace the concept of being digital natives in their own lives,” Penna stated, adding: “We exchange a lot of articles around what’s happening in the industry, what’s happening with new technologies. We try and encourage that conversation and embrace the concept of being as digital as possible.”

The bank’s shift to cloud-native, API-native platforms ensures that all its systems operate in real-time. This real-time execution is crucial for delivering instant banking experiences. With over 400 APIs, Mashreq Bank is poised to externalize various aspects of the service journey, enhancing client interaction and efficiency.

Penna delved into the specifics of Mashreq Bank’s digital strategy, emphasizing the user experience in their cloud transition. “One of the key things we are focusing on is the cloud experience, creating as seamless a journey as possible,” Penna explained. This approach is central to making digital banking more accessible and user-friendly. “When people utilize our services, we want it to be easy to use and easy to understand. We are avoiding complex terminology and creating workflows that are very simple to work through.” This focus on simplicity and clarity is a testament to the bank’s customer-centric approach.

Penna also highlighted the importance of a forward-thinking product team, one that truly understands and empathizes with the client’s needs. Mashreq Bank’s commitment to enhancing the cloud experience reflects its dedication to not only adopting new technologies but also ensuring that these technologies deliver real value to their clients.

Customized Pricing

Understanding the diversity of its client base, Mashreq Bank has developed a multifaceted pricing strategy. For middle-market clients, who often seek straightforward and predictable banking costs, Mashreq Bank offers an all-inclusive pricing model. This model, akin to an ‘all-you-can-eat buffet’, allows these clients to access a range of services for a fixed monthly fee. This simplicity and predictability in pricing are particularly appealing to businesses that prefer a clear and consistent cost structure, enabling them to plan and budget more effectively.

On the other hand, large corporate clients, with more complex and varied banking needs, receive a more customized pricing approach. Understanding that these clients might prioritize different aspects of banking services – such as cost-efficiency in cross-border transactions or specialized liquidity management solutions – Mashreq Bank tailors its pricing to align with these specific requirements. This bespoke pricing strategy not only provides flexibility but also demonstrates the bank’s commitment to providing value through personalized service.

On the role of consulting in its digital transformation, Penna noted that Mashreq Bank selectively employs consultants to validate its strategies against industry best practices. This careful approach to consultancy underscores the bank’s aim to maintain its competitive edge and continue leading in digital banking innovation.

As Mashreq Bank continues its journey towards complete digital transformation, it sets an example for others in the banking industry.

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