The First Waqfe Powered Digital Banking Platform Launches in Bahrain

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Left to Right: Ms Fatima AlAlawi, Chief Business Officer of Waqfe, Mr Shariq Nazim, Chief Digital Officer of Waqfe, and Mr Ashar Nazim, Co-Founder & Chief Executive of Waqfe

Waqfe, the Bahrain based fintech solutions provider, has announced the successful launch of its first digital banking platform. The solution has been launched by Kuwait Finance House-Bahrain, and was unveiled in a grand ceremony on the 13th of May 2018 at the Arcapita Building, Bahrain Bay.

The launch was attended by the Central Bank of Bahrain Governor, His Excellency Mr. Rasheed Al Maraj and the Chief Executive Officer of the Economic Development Board, Mr. Khalid Al Rumaihi, along with the Chief Executive Officer of Waqfe, Mr. Ashar Nazim. The event which offered the first glimpse of the platform through a live demonstration was also attended by a number of exclusively invited guests and key members of the media.

Speaking about the launch, Mr. Ashar Nazim, Waqfe’s CEO and co-founder said: “It gives us great pleasure to have associated with one of the leading Islamic financial institutions in the Kingdom, Kuwait Finance House. The digital platform will revolutionize the way banks and customers engage, bringing down cost of customer acquisition by up to 70%, and driving up business volumes and profitability per customer. It will help banks go digital with certainty.”

The platform got a thumbs up from the investor community. Waqfe announced that it has successfully closed its first round of funding, raising USD 2 million from investors.

Banks in GCC are keen go digital as their share of wallet is eroded by non-financial companies entering the financial space. For majority of banks in the region, customer profitability is low compared to international standards, churn is high and customer behavior is changing making positive engagement challenging. Yet going digital with certainty is rare. Most digital projects take longer than planned, cost more than budgeted and deliver fewer benefits than originally envisioned.

Waqfe’s next generation platform addresses all of this comprehensively. It gives banks certainty of going digital with agility and at a fraction of the cost of previous digital implementations in the region. Its modular approach means banks can go digital at their own pace. It has a community banking angle that excites customers especially younger ones. It offers a powerful advantage not accessible to competing banks with its behavioral AI engine allowing banks to personalize their offerings and get valuable insights into customers that helps them raise profitability per customer.

Further elaborating, the Chief Business Officer of Waqfe, Ms Fatima Al Alawi said; “With convenience of the customer being the absolute priority, the Waqfe powered platform allows users to open a bank account within just 7 minutes from the comfort of their home or anywhere of their choosing. It is revolutionary because it will open up the GCC market of 50 million people for banks which are deploying Waqfe platform. The new game-changing platform will enable customers to manage the breadth of their financial lives in the palm of their hands.”

The Chief Digital Officer of Waqfe, Shariq Nazim, went on further to explain the revolutionary technologies driving the digital platform, “The platform offers banks a leading edge combination of mobility, data and artificial intelligence, helping them go digital with certainty and agility. It offers electronic Know Your Customer (eKYC), forensic document analysis, digital documents scanning, scanning including signature, facial recognition, selfie checks, creating a digital identity and much more. This is now available to banks at a fraction of the cost they spend on enhancing their legacy systems. With Waqfe platform, the banks will be able to access the 50 million strong population across GCC, a first of its kind.”