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Abdul Hakeem Al Ojaili

CEO, BankDhofar

Aftab Patel

CEO, Al Omaniya Financial Services

Financial services are growing in sophistication in Oman, and digitalization initiatives are commonplace among providers.
What have been some of your highlights from the past year?

Abdul Hakeem Al Ojaili Since its inception in 1990, BankDhofar has continued to grow steadily, cementing its presence as the second-largest bank in the Sultanate. We have, since then, taken the strategic decision to accelerate our growth while focusing on sustained performance. Today, BankDhofar is ranked among the largest banks in the country in terms of size. During recent years, we have initiated various initiatives to ensure a convenient banking experience for our customers. We work closely with financial sector regulators to ensure sufficient and efficient solutions are in place, and we introduced a bundle of initiatives for further convenience to our retail and corporate customers. We emphasize customer service excellence, technology upgrades, prudent lending norms, and other cost control measures that we had put in place. The bank has invested in digital infrastructure to improve our customers’ experience. We have implemented several initiatives utilizing technology to provide the utmost convenience to our customers by enabling them to conduct their banking transactions with ease.

Aftab Patel The company was formed and went public in 1997, since when it has consistently grown year after year. For many years, we have been rated as the number-one, top-performing company. Al Omaniya’s non-performing loan (NPL) ratio is the lowest in the region. The best ability to measure your performance is the quality of your loan book. We have the lowest non-performing loans and the highest provisions required to have a stable, clean loan book. We have a similar customer base to the banks because of our quality proposition and are able to raise money at competitive prices. Therefore, we are able to match or even do better than some of the banks. We have also maintained our record of paying a dividend every single year since the company’s inception, the cumulative dividend paid since inception is 466.33%

What steps are you looking at to further digitalize services?

AHAO Technology and innovation have always been at the core of BankDhofar’s operations. We are constantly keeping pace with technological developments while designing new products and services to ensure convenient banking experiences for customers. We are committed to designing state-of-the-art products, services, and financial solutions that adopt the latest technology to ensure a convenient banking experience for our customers. Our customers may conduct their transactions at ease and around the clock through our highly secure and user-friendly digital banking channels, including our mobile banking app, internet banking, and a wide network of ATMs and CDMs around the Sultanate. To add further convenience to our customers, we have introduced cardless ATM banking services using mobile. The first-of-its-kind service in the world enables customers to conduct ATM transactions easily by using their mobile numbers. Along with the services provided over BankDhofar’s digital channels, BankDhofar customers may conduct their payment transactions conveniently through BankDhofar cards with the tap-and-go feature. This feature allows customers to pay on the go for shopping, traveling, or for any payments. The cards are highly secured and come with an RFID protection card and cover.

AP We are at an advanced stage now of launching a digital platform. It will create an Al Omaniya office on every smart phone. It is a very comprehensive application that you can download on an android or Apple device. We offer comprehensive services to the customer. It will allow corporate and retail customers to do business with us on digital platforms without physically visiting us. It means that there is no need to open new branches now. We will be a seamless 24/7 service. We are also focusing on syndication of business with the banks. We do a lot for syndication of large loans with the banks. We are the only non-banking company to be part of this syndication. We have the expertise and the understanding, having realized several projects with banks. We continue to focus on that line of business.

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