A new era for the International Bank of Kuwait: the architecture of the future of technology-based banking

Vice-President and Chief Executive Officer: Raed Jawad Bukhamseen

The digital renaissance in the global banking industry was well underway before the COVID-19 pandemic. In fact, most retail banks had embarked on some form of transformation to provide more efficient banking services.

However, the lockdowns have forced the banks to dramatically step up the pace of change. Within weeks – and sometimes days – they had to act fast and get creative. Banks needed to find new ways to manage processes remotely and leverage digital tools to compensate for branch, office and call center closures. Suddenly the impossible became possible and digital was the new normal. As lockdowns continued, the very nature of the client-bank relationship changed. The way banks do business has changed.

A future reinvented

As the economic impact began to be felt, Kuwait International Bank (KIB) leveraged innovative strategies and updated its business model to stay ahead of the curve. The bank completed a multi-month exercise to develop a comprehensive and ambitious plan for radical digital transformation. Ambitious goals were set as KIB’s transformation quickly shifted from a good strategy to a critical method of delivering uninterrupted services. This digital shift has involved the deployment of a whole new suite of technological innovations and solutions. Internal processes were streamlined to adapt to digital change, which ultimately resulted in a more sophisticated, dynamic, convenient and user-friendly banking experience.

Turning a threat into a drive for innovation and rapid transformation

To face the challenges and emerging risks posed by the coronavirus, KIB has made it a priority to reorganize its basic digital infrastructure. Going digital has made it possible to provide a safe, secure and user-friendly banking experience – for the time of the pandemic and beyond. It has become clear that the paradigm shift towards digital banking is more important than ever.

Since COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the landscape, the transformation strategies undertaken by KIB have gone beyond changing the way work is done. Over the past eight months, the bank has introduced a suite of services aimed at delivering enhanced functionality, greater convenience, and a high online banking experience with the latest technology in the global financial industry. This includes the addition of live chat to the website, new app services on digital channels, new appointment booking systems, as well as increased limits on digital transactions and services.

Deeper customer engagement

One of KIB’s core values ​​is to provide the highest standards of banking experience. Branch offices have introduced occasional consultation points, via a “desktop device”, to allow easy access to general information and rapid support via allocated tablets and laptops. Private consultations with staff will take place in tailor-made rooms for a more individual feel. The Bank has opted for basic technological transformations at every point of contact and customer interaction, from branches to the mobile application and online banking platform to the contact center. To support its digital transformation strategy, the bank has made a major upgrade to its mobile banking application and launched a completely redesigned website. In addition to accelerating its digital trends, a key milestone for KIB has been the launch of a new branch model, featuring advanced concepts and unique designs, including a range of digital devices and interactive displays. adapted to a more sophisticated and technological environment. a discerning generation with dynamic needs and ever-higher expectations. Among the newly introduced features, staff roam open-plan branches with iPads to answer customer questions. A mobile app feature enables digital registration with the Kuwait Clearing Company to receive dividends direct deposit to their accounts instead of having to withdraw a check in person. The improved functionality of the bank’s digital tools will enable KIB to better serve its customers and meet their evolving needs, in accordance with the latest technologies.

Amid fundamental changes in the financial services industry, KIB remains committed to exploring new services and solutions across all channels and touchpoints, both physical and digital, to better serve customers. The Bank is looking to launch a wide range of new services in the coming months, living up to its claim to be a “Bank for Life”.

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