14th March 2023, Dubai: We’re kicking off our 2023 awards with a very special category: Contactless Visionary.
We’re awarding this to the team at Boubyan Bank, Kuwait. Across the last few years, the bank has been continually mentioned in our conversations with other GCC banks as a leading digital innovator. Our own assessments back up this view.
While there are other actors challenging in the Kuwait market, we have been impressed by the continued discipline shown by the team toward developing a consistent track record of delivery, particularly in the context of enabling a truly contactless lifestyle for their customers.
Back in December, the bank launched it’s Apple Pay capability, with CEO Consumer & Digital Banking Mr Abdulla Al-Tuwaijri commenting that it was, “an important step to enhance the use of Boubyan’s digital services.” We totally agree. The systems and processes required to enable this kind of technology might seem simple from the lay person standpoint, but we know all too well how challenging such updates can be.
We have been monitoring Boubyan’s activity to see when they might bring Google Pay to market. Given that most market estimates put Android at 56% of Kuwait’s marketplace (ahead of Apple at 43%) we felt that Google Pay was a requirement to complete the base mobile/contactless service offering to customers.
The bank announced that Google Pay was available for all customers earlier this month on 1st of March 2023 and with that, our analysts felt the trigger for the award was met.
We have selected our “Contactless Visionary” category in this case because we feel it is representative of the hard work and effort made by the bank.
Further, it wasn’t a case of ‘deliver and done’ with these contactless methodologies. Often many banks find the demands of launching both payment methods incredibly taxing given the number of systems, policies and procedure updates needed. Not so with Boubyan – we were particularly delighted to see the bank utilising the technology immediately with additional service offerings – for example, the OASIS Digital Prepaid card is an innovative digital-only product offering that we would like to see many other banks adopt. (The card can be activated immediately with Apple Pay/Samsung Pay/Garmin Pay/Fitbit Pay and Google Pay.)
We would like to extend our best wishes to the whole Digital and Technology teams at Bouyban Bank and congratulations to Mr Abdulla Al-Tuwaijri, CEO of the bank’s Consumer & Digital Banking division. We trust the bank will continue to lead the way in the region!
Assigned by Sebastien Parker
Senior Research Analyst
Global Banking Monitor
14th March 2023
Notes: Read about our Award methodology here.