Al-Nahedh: Agility of Banks Essential in 4th Industrial Revolution
KFH customers perform over 100 million online transactions a year
Kuwait: Group Chief Executive Officer at Kuwait Finance House (KFH), Mazin Al-Nahedh said that the entire banking system evolves with the digitization agenda and gains access to new technologies, indicating there is an opportunity for banks to achieve huge business models’ transformation. He added that banks need to devise strategic plans to ensure the safety of all their customers’ financial data.
Al-Nahedh’s statement was made during his participation in the IIF Islamic Finance G20 conference, held in Riyadh as part of the G20 summit meetings under the title "The economic growth perspectives and the future of banking in the Middle East and North Africa”.
He continued: “KFH invests in the latest technology developed for the banking and financial sector to advance services provided to customers and make them faster, safer and more cost effective. The increase in productivity improves the quality of services, and ultimately, the Bank's profitability. KFH has made long strides along the digital transformation journey, drawing attention to its services, modern and innovative financial products. For example, KFH customers perform over 100 million online transactions a year.”
He also mentioned that KFH is investing heavily in financial technology, having channeled a total of $40 million into two fintech Investment Programs. One is based in the Region and has a remit to invest in ground-breaking digital ideas across the Middle East. The other fund is in the United States.
AlNahedh presented his vision on Fintech, artificial intelligence, and how banks can become more agile in the 4th Industrial Revolution, and the need to enhance the role of innovation in the work of banks.
As for data Localization requirements, he explained that local laws are regulations must be revised to enable data globalization, indicating there is no doubt that regional integration is a need for business. It holds so many benefits and opportunities. Local Central Banks and other regulators should take the Regional Integration requirements into considerations and alter their data governance laws and regulations to enable this integration.
AlNahedh discussed during the discussion panel that it is vital for countries to enhance cyber security and reduce their vulnerabilities to these attacks. In GCC countries, banks are working to be better equipped to handle the rising threat of cyber-attacks, upgrading their cyber security systems and related technology to global standards. Like banks, some GCC governments have taken several measures to combat cybercrime, including the adoption of the Combating Cybercrime law and the Electronic Transaction law.
Al-Nahedh also addressed the importance of social responsibility, community service, achieving sustainability at various levels, and the transition to a low-carbon economy. He also addressed the obligations and responsibilities to the communities the bank serves.
Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs)
During his insight about SMEs, he said that in line with Kuwait Vision 2035 which aims transform the country into a global commercial hub, the government focuses on SME sector as seen critical to promoting long-term economic diversification in country.
About KFH role in the SMEs sector, AlNahedh said: “KFH enjoys a large market share in financing SMEs as they play a significant role in supporting the youth segment and improving the performance of the entrepreneurs. This contributes in diversifying income resources, creating new jobs while building national expertise in business. Meanwhile, KFH supports over 1000 SMEs, which contribute to boosting the economy and creating new jobs for the youth.”
Artificial Intelligence AI
AlNahedh pointed out that KFH applies Artificial Intelligence AI, in accordance with the highest levels of security, quality and professionalism. KFH launched Robotic Process Automation program characterized by its contribution to improving business efficiency and enhancing performance quality. AI can play a crucial role in helping to improve the experience of consumers within the financial services sector.
He said that the integrating artificial intelligence in the dynamic industry of banking and finance has several benefits including accuracy, reduction in human error and cost cuts among others.
He underlined the need to continue developing human resource strategies in attracting talent and designing special training programs that meet global needs in the banking industry. He added that KFH is focusing on hiring outstanding graduates whose majors are related to information technology and digital trends including AI and whatever disruptive innovation requires.
Creditworthy Rating and Consolidation of the Financial Industry
He said “KFH Group’s creditworthy rating and Kuwait’s stable economic growth and a conservative regulatory environment are impetus to stable liquidity conditions which ensures investor confidence and provides access to foreign currency funding from different counterparties across the globe and its efficient liquidity managements ensures High Quality Liquid Assets (HQLA) local & foreign currency availability in stress situations.”
AlNahedh concluded by saying that the consolidation in GCC banking sectors will help to increase banks' pricing power when competing for deposits. Also, it will help put an end to rising financing costs as well as contributing to improving profitability in the long term.
© Press Release 2020