Al Hilal Bank: Leading the way through simplified banking

Al Hilal Bank Leading the way through simplified banking

It is no easy feat to create a digital bank of the future able to meet exacting consumer demands while transforming its business processes. But this is exactly what Al Hilal Bank, an Islamic bank headquartered in Abu Dhabi, has been able to achieve through its philosophy of “simplified banking.” Offering Shari’ah-compliant retail banking, treasury and wealth management solutions across the United Arab Emirates, its strong focus on UAE nationals makes Al Hilal a trusted name in this region. Recently, Al Hilal introduced an innovative digital on-boarding experience through its mobile app, Ahlan – a first-of-its-kind app in Islamic Banking offering simplicity and convenience like no other.

Having been awarded Best Digital Account Opening, Middle East at the recent Global Retail Banking Innovation Awards 2020 (GRB Awards) by The Digital Banker further solidifies its stature as a bank that leads the way.

“Ahlan, Al Hilal Bank’s mobile banking app has redefined the concept of digital account opening by enabling new-to-bank (NTB) customers to open new savings account instantaneously with the bank in just 3 simple steps.  Ahlan not only reduced Al Hilal’s cost of new-to-bank acquisition but also helped transform its sales channels,” commented Nirav Patel, Managing Director at The Digital Banker during the awards presentation.

“With Ahlan, UAE residents can open a bank account instantly from anywhere without having to visit the branch or provide their documents offline for verification.”

Ahlan: Simplified banking for a digital world

Ahlan was created with a vision to redefine new-to-bank customer on-boarding experience. With Ahlan, UAE residents can open a bank account instantly from anywhere without having to visit the branch or provide their documents offline for verification. Through 3 simple steps of 1) providing personal information, 2) documents scanning and 3) delivery, customers can instantly open a savings account and start their banking journey with Al Hilal.

The process has been designed from the ground up with simplicity and intuitiveness to ensure that customers across all segments can use the app with ease. The most advanced technology has been deployed to ensure that minimum information is required to be manually fed by the customer as the app has been made capable to capture maximum information from the scanned documents using tools like MRZ scanner and visualiser.

Functionalities like API integration is used to ensure regulatory guidelines are adhered to, and the customer is acquired as per the Bank’s policies and guidelines. During the delivery of the debit card, the customer’s Emirates ID (a chip-enabled card provided by the government to every UAE resident), is checked through a tablet device, which is linked to the Emirates ID authority for real-time verification. Only upon the successful verification does the account gets activated.

Through its sheer simplicity and unquestionable value to customers, Ahlan has been a tremendous success receiving an overwhelmingly positive response so far, with over 80% of NTB customers currently on-boarded through this channel. In addition, with over 22% of customers sourced through Ahlan being UAE nationals, this channel has been proven to contribute significantly to the Bank’s business objectives. Also, over 75% of all accounts acquired through Ahlan are funded within the first 30 days.

Indeed, the concept of digital onboarding has redefined the acquisition business model of Al Hilal Bank. Judging from its recent slew of achievements, its vision to enhance the Ahlan app to cater to customers across its entire lifecycle – from childhood to retirement – is very much within reach.

>> To read more about this story and other exclusive features about the digital banking landscape, download the latest issue of The Digital Banker Magazine HERE.


Image: Sophie James /


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