Dubai-UAE – Noor Bank, the UAE’s leading Shari’ah-compliant bank, in partnership with Mastercard, discussed the changing payments landscape at the third session of the Noor Business Council a thought leadership platform introduced by the bank in May 2018 for its SME and large corporate clients.

Drawing the participation of over 100 customers, the forum examined the challenges and opportunities in implementing alternative payments.

Speaking on the significance of the session, John Iossifidis, CEO of Noor Bank, said: “The payments space especially in the UAE has undergone unprecedented change over the last few years. Keeping in line with this transformation, Noor Bank has curated digitally driven products to be at the centre of the customer’s ecosystem and to deliver outstanding experiences.”

He added: “We are confident that the takeaways from today’s Noor Business Council session will spark stimulating conversations around digitalisation in the banking and finance sector.”

For his part, Mufazzal Kajiji, Head of Retail Banking, said: “We created the Noor Business Council exactly a year ago with a view to promote meaningful dialogues between industry peers. One year on, I am proud to say that we’ve made great progress in bringing together our SME and our corporate clients to discuss issues that are important to them and providing them with innovative banking products and services.

In light of today’s discussion around payments, I believe the takeaways will help build a more cohesive, collaborative and robust commercial and financial landscape in the UAE.”

Girish Nanda, General Manager, UAE and Oman at Mastercard, commented: “The contribution of the SME sector to the GDP of the country is constantly growing. In 2019, it is estimated at 53%, up from about 49% in 2018, according to the Federal Competitiveness and Statics Authority’s Report. Mastercard will continue to collaborate with Noor Bank to address the needs of this growing segment by designing innovative technologies and solutions to help achieve business scale and create efficiencies for sustained long term growth.”

At the event, Virginia Reinecke, Head of Commercial Products at Mastercard MEA, provided an overview of the latest payment trends and highlighted the impact of digital tools on the finance industry. The agenda also featured a talk by Ehsaan Ahmed, Head of Global Transaction Services at Noor Bank, on the Bank’s technological innovation drive and fintech collaborations in the UAE.

Furthermore, the afternoon included a panel discussion, moderated by Richard Thompson, Editorial Director at MEED that explored the potential of digital payment solutions and analysed the changing consumer behaviour in the SME and corporate banking space. Participants included Arjun Vir Singh, Director – Cards and Payments at Al-Futtaim Group, Navneet Dave, Head of Market Development at Mastercard MEA, and Kazim Ali, Head of Corporate Banking at Noor Bank.

To coincide with the event, Mastercard launched the exclusive SME World debit card, a first-of its-kind product for SMEs. Available to Noor Bank’s Link Premium and Link Infinite customers, the card offers a suite of business and leisure products and is designed to cater to the evolving needs of SMEs.

The Noor Business Council holds quarterly thought leadership sessions on topics relevant to the industry, including trends as well as economic policies and their practical implementation.

Noor Bank is committed to contributing to the government’s vision to establish the UAE as a leading commercial and financial hub. Through supporting the local business community, educating key stakeholders on the current issues facing the banking sector and strengthening collaboration with government entities while helping customers connect with them, Noor Bank aims to fulfil its goal of becoming a partner of choice.


About Noor Bank

Noor Bank began operations, in Dubai, in 2008, as an Islamic financial institution. It is a full-service bank delivering the broadest range of products for its customers, with an emphasis on unique and personalised service. Noor Bank is governed by the Internal Shari’ah Supervision Committee, with extensive experience and expertise in Islamic legal, financial and banking matters. Noor Bank is rated “A-” IDR with a stable outlook by Fitch Ratings. The corporate shareholders of the Bank are The Office of the Crown Prince of Dubai (25.73%), the Investment Corporation of Dubai (22.71%) and the Emirates Investment Authority (4.7%).  The remaining shares are beneficially held by individuals who each own less than 5% of Noor Bank.  For further details, please visit: or call 800 6667.

For media enquiries on Noor Bank, please contact:
Leah Majorie Banda  
Noor Bank

Susan Shoury
APCO Worldwide
Mobile: +971 55 965 3647

About Mastercard

Mastercard (NYSE: MA),, is a technology company in the global payments industry. Our global payments processing network connects consumers, financial institutions, merchants, governments and businesses in more than 210 countries and territories. Mastercard products and solutions make everyday commerce activities – such as shopping, traveling, running a business and managing finances – easier, more secure and more efficient for everyone. Follow us on Twitter @MastercardNews, join the discussion on the Beyond the Transaction Blog and subscribe for the latest news on the Engagement Bureau.

Mastercard Communications Contact
Omar Abuhanoud, +971 4 563 8603 

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