saib Bank is targeting a growth of more than 50% in its retail banking portfolio during 2021, according to Amr Nossair, Head of Retail Banking and Delivery Channels at the bank.

Speaking in an exclusive interview with Daily News Egypt, Nossair also said that saib Bank’s retail portfolio reached about $396m at the end of 2020, reflecting a growth rate of 60% compared to 2019.

He added that personal loans represent 48% of the bank’s total portfolio, while auto loans stand at 15%. He also pointed out that the volume of mortgage financing reached more than EGP 500m, to benefit 4,000 customers.

Nossair said that the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis has accelerated the implantation of the bank’s digitalisation plan. 

He also pointed out saib Bank’s major role in supporting financial inclusion, and reaching different segments, especially Egypt’s youth.

What is the current size of saib Bank’s retail banking portfolio? What is the 2021 target? 

The retail banking portfolio reached around $395m by the end of 2020, recording a growth of 60% compared to 2019. We aim to increase our portfolio by more than 50% by the end of 2021, which is nearly EGP 2.5bn.

Regarding loans, which are the highest at saib Bank?

Personal loans represent 48% of the total retail banking portfolio, while auto loans represent 15%. The rest represent real estate mortgage and credit card balances.

It is worth mentioning that real estate mortgage is one of our priorities at saib Bank, in accordance with the Central Bank of Egypt (CBE) initiative. Over the past period, we have succeeded in increasing our mortgage finance portfolio reaching more than EGP 500m, benefiting around 4,000 low and middle-income customers in more than 13 social housing projects.

What about the CBE mortgage finance initiative for low-income groups at a 3% interest rate?

We are currently working with different entities in preparation for the execution of the initiative. Once the mechanism is set, saib Bank will be one of the leading banks to join the initiative.

What are the most prominent retail banking products that the bank currently offers? What planned launches are there in the coming period?

There are two groups of retail banking products, financing and saving. Our financing retail programmes include real estate mortgage, personal loans, auto loans and credit cards with their different types. Saving products include certificates of deposit, current accounts, and saving accounts.

This is in addition to our digital banking services. Our strategy is to increase saib Bank digital channels. 

In this context, what are the digital products and technological improvement that the bank offers?

A strategic plan has been developed for these products, and let me point out that these strategies include developing the bank’s infrastructure. This will enhance the quality and speed of service that the bank provides, leading to a higher level of customer satisfaction.

As for digital banking, we already launched mobile banking and internet banking for individuals. As for corporate, internet banking will be offered soon. We also offer saib wallet, which provides several services in an easy and flexible way through mobile. 

We have also added more services to it, including paying bills and making transfers as well as cash deposit/withdrawal from the wallet through ATMs.

“Raseedy” wallet was also launched as the first officially licensed independent e-wallet, in cooperation with Raseedy Company and MasterCard.

In the same context, we launched “saib pay band”, which allows customers to pay without making contact with the [point of sale] POS. This product has recorded a high number of users since it was launched, as it is the perfect solution for payment currently since the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

Meanwhile, we are currently developing the bank’s technological infrastructure, such as the procedures of issuing checks to minimise the duration of the process. We are also developing the queuing system inside branches to reduce waiting time, aiming at increasing customers’ satisfaction and confidence in our bank.

Has the COVID-19 crisis accelerated the implementation of the bank’s digitalisation plan?  

This has certainly happened, and is reflected in the numbers of subscribers in our digital banking services and channels. For example, total subscribers in saib Wallet and “Raseedy” exceed 34,000 subscribers. The number of internet banking users currently reaches more than 11,500 customers. 

What is the role that saib Bank plays in achieving financial inclusion?

We are moving in several directions to achieve financial inclusion, supporting the CBE’s directives.

Since the beginning of 2020, we established a financial inclusion department that reports directly to the Chairperson, based on the directives of the CBE. This department is dedicated to support financial inclusion through different levels

Since then, we have cooperated with various parties, including Raseedy Company, as we launched “Raseedy” wallet during the last quarter (Q4) of 2020. This wallet is considered the first specialised wallet to address microfinance customers, aiming at attracting this segment to the banking sector.

We also launched the Al Ahly Club credit and prepaid cards, in cooperation with Al Ahly SC, targeting different age groups and social groups, including youth to attract them to the banking sector through the prepaid card.

Furthermore, we have an ambitious expansion plan for the bank’s branches and ATMs, not only in Cairo or in big governorates, but across the country, so we can reach all citizens with all our services.

Moreover, we currently have 34 branches and have obtained the approval of CBE to open 11 new branches. Three of these are currently being established in October Hills, Mesaha Square in Dokki, and Adly Street downtown. Thus we are expecting to have 45 branches by the end of 2022.

We are currently executing our three-year ATMs expansion plan (2020-2022), starting with 48 ATMs, and targeting to reach more than 200 ATMs by the end of 2022.

What about the financial education centres “saib Cube” that the bank has recently started to open?

saib Bank is keen on playing a tangible role in educating customers and non-customers and increasing their knowledge of the provided banking services. That’s why we launched “saib Cube” in crowded locations, to reach a wide number audience. We currently have three centres in the Mall of Egypt, Mall of Arabia, and Tanta Mall,  and we are working on opening a fourth cube soon.

What about the bank’s participation in the CBE initiative to open accounts for youth?

We are already one of the first banks to participate in this initiative. The Al-Ahly club cards are one of the products targeted to this segment. We are planning to launch a complete package tailored for youth, with the aim of attracting the largest possible number of them to the banking sector.

What about the Meeza national payment cards?

We were one of the first banks to introduce this card last year. We have issued more than 15,000 Meeza cards up until now. There is a definite increase in demand.

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