MANAMA: thmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank that operates one of the largest retail banking networks in the Kingdom, yesterday (ed note: 15/03/2020) encouraged its customers to bank online so as to help contain the Coronavirus (COVID-19) virus.
Ithmaar Bank, which is committed to following Ministry of Health (MOH) directives and to doing its part to helping contain the virus, made the announcement as part of the Bank’s own public awareness campaign. The Bank is already following Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) directives that were issued on 05 March 2020 urging all banks, financing companies and micro-finance companies in the Kingdom to grant concessions to customers affected by the global outbreak of COVID-19.
“As a pioneering Islamic retail bank, Ithmaar Bank recognises the important role we must play in the community,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “This is a responsibility we have always taken very seriously and we remain as committed as ever to playing a real and meaningful role in the community,” he said.
“The Government of the Kingdom of Bahrain has earned international kudos, most recently from the World Health Organisation (WHO), for its efforts to contain COVID-19, and we feel it is our duty and responsibility to help contribute to this effort,” said Abdul Rahim. “We have, from the beginning of the outbreak, followed closely all relevant directives, from both the MOH and the CBB, and we continue to monitor the situation closely and follow all applicable recommendations. This has included, for example, installing hand sanitisers at every one of our 16 branches as well as on each floor at our Seef headquarters, disabling the fingerprint-based employee attendance system, following MOH-recommended sanitation protocols and encouraging all employees to follow relevant government guidelines. It has also included granting concessions such re-scheduling or granting temporary deferrals on credit instalments for individual customers affected by COVID-19 and relaxing requirements on corporate customers, particularly Small and Medium sized Enterprises SMEs),” he said.
“In addition to following all relevant directives, Ithmaar Bank has also initiated its own public awareness campaign,” said Abdul Rahim. “This has included sending out SMS messages to our customers and reposting MOH public awareness messages on the Bank’s own social media platforms. The Bank has also started encouraging customers to bank online, rather than visiting the branches, to help contain the COVID-19 virus,” he said.
“Over the years, Ithmaar Bank invested tremendous time, money and effort on developing the Bank’s digital infrastructure and on implementing far-reaching, bank-wide digital initiatives,” said Abdul Rahim. “As a result, almost all Ithmaar Bank transactions can now be completed online, without ever having to visit a branch,” he said.
In 2019, Ithmaar Bank launched a customer-centric chat service on the WhatsApp Business social media platform to help further improve its customers’ banking experience.
As a result, customers can message the Ithmaar Bank Call Centre number 13303030 to request information through WhatsApp about Ithmaar Bank products and services, as well as make general inquiries like Thimaar draw dates and winners list, as well as ongoing promotions and campaigns.
The launch of the chat service on WhatsApp Business was part of Ithmaar Bank’s committed, bank-wide digital initiative which aims to build on the Bank’s history of innovation. Most recently, this included the launch of the region’s first biometric-enabled ATM network.
© Press Release 2020