83% of residents use online banking and banking apps thanks to their 24-7 availability, security and convenience

Dubai: Three out of four bank customers in the UAE prefer online banking over traditional bank visits, with majority of customers’ visit to a bank decreasing to 0-2 times per year. This is according to a study commissioned by Banker Middle East Industry Awards, the most prestigious banking and finance event in the MENA region, which is supported by Dubai International Financial Centre.

The survey, conducted by New Perspective Media Group, a business research, media and marketing firm, shows that the changing customer behaviour, satisfactory safety features, and omnichannel experience have encouraged the adaptation of digitalisation in the banking industry. The survey asked 2,200 UAE-based respondents where 73% are from the age of 20 to 40 years. It shows that 83% use online banking platforms and banking apps due to their 24-7 availability, security and convenience.

Nigel Rodrigues, CEO of CPI Financial, the organiser of the Banker Middle East Industry Awards, said: “There is no denying that digitalisation is the future. Organisations that embrace rapid advances in technology, will meet and exceed the expectations of their customers and shareholders and deliver healthy returns.”

“The Banker Middle East Industry Awards understand this new shift in the market, it is therefore vital that we recognise and honour key players in the banking and finance sector that transform the industry through innovative solutions and enhanced customer experience,” Rodrigues added.

Open to all financial companies and industry service providers, the Banker Middle East Industry Awards distinguishes the best banking institutions that have shaped and continued to shape the financial landscape in the region. There are 32 categories for The BME Industry Awards this year—all of which are regional—and they include, Best Bank in the Middle East, Banker of the Year, Lifetime Achievement Award, Fastest Growing Bank, Best Retail Bank, Best Islamic Bank, Best Corporate Bank, Best SME Bank, Best Commercial Bank and Best User-Experience Innovator, amongst others. 

All the participants/nominees must submit their entries through an online submission form with relevant supporting documents by the 3rd October 2019. Following critical examination of all submissions, the judging panel will select their shortlisted institutions and this shortlist will be announced on or after the 17th October 2019. The winners for each category will be announced at the Banker Middle East Industry Awards gala dinner on 26th November 2019 at The Ritz-Carlton Hotel, DIFC.

Online banking: Safe and secure

Top features that entice consumers towards digital banking is its 24-7 availability, security and convenience. Gone are the days when they rely on the bank’s opening hours to be able to do their transactions. Almost all dealings, these respondents feel, can now be done from the comfort of their home. The study indicates that 82% of the respondents feel that online banking and banking apps provide security.

The banking industry is in a digital ‘arms’ race, hence there are high investments in digital technologies that focus on customer satisfaction. As per the study, consumers mainly use online services for utility bill payments, money transfers (local & international), credit card payments and bank statements. (Table 4)

Table 4
Top online banking services used by UAE consumers
1. Utility bill payments
2. Money transfer (local)
3. Credit card payments
4. Money transfer (international)
5. Bank statements

While consumers today prefer online banking, the survey also revealed that nearly half (45%) of the respondents still favor human interaction and bank visits when it comes to more complicated banking services like cash deposits, opening a new account, cheque encashment, loan procedures, credit card applications, and credential changes.

Interestingly, 83% of respondents confirmed that they use online banking or banking apps for their personal transactions. However, when asked which bank service they use regularly – ATM topped the list followed by banking apps, bank outlets and phone banking. (Table 5)

Table 5
Top banking services used the most by consumers based in the UAE 
1. ATM’s
2. Online Banking (apps and website)
3. Over the counter / bank branch
4. Phone Banking

For further clarification on the awards submission process, kindly contact: awards@bankerme.net 


About Banker Middle East Industry Awards 
Banker Middle East has served the region’s banking and finance community for over 20 years. It is the longest-running GCC-based banking publication, continuously supporting the industry, highlighting the biggest developments across MENA's financial sector, providing in-depth analyses and thought leadership features on various facets of the industry, as well as exclusive interviews with market leaders.
As part of its vital role in the region’s banking sector, Banker Middle East actively encourages excellence within institutions through the annual Banker Middle East Industry Awards. As the most prestigious event in the banking calendar, the Banker Middle East Industry Awards provide a benchmark for the industry, giving due recognition and rewarding excellence to those outstanding institutions that have successfully shaped the financial landscape.

© Press Release 2019

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