At a Glance
– 1st Finance company in MEA to run front-to back banking solutions as SaaS.
– Built a new digital bank from scratch in 2 months.
– 1st time in MEA direct interface from Transact to central bank without a middle system, to enable clients to make secure, compliant electronic wage transfers.
– A leading innovator in the SME market thanks to the new digital capabilities and channels.
Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) represent 94 percent of all companies operating in the United Arab Emirates, and play a pivotal role in the country’s prosperity. For these thousands of companies, success often depends on fast access to liquidity—but in many cases, raising loans through traditional banking channels means navigating complex, paperwork-heavy processes..
This is where Al Ain Finance PJSC wants to make banking better. Founded in Abu Dhabi in 2016 and regulated by the Central Bank of the UAE, the company looks to provide simple, transparent, and practical alternative finance solutions—without the usual hassle and hidden costs. With this client-oriented and innovative approach, Al Ain Finance PJSC aims to help SMEs across the Emirates to gain the working capital they need to thrive.
Selecting SaaS digital solutions
Since it began operating in 2017, Al Ain Finance built a positive reputation among clients, particularly for its trade finance services. For the next stage of its growth journey, the finance company targeted a broader portfolio, adding enhanced lending, deposits, payments, and digital services. This strategy, Al Ain Finance believed, would help to sharpen its competitive edge, appeal to more potential clients, and win greater market share.
After assessing offerings from several vendors, Al Ain Finance chose Temenos Infinity and Temenos Transact on Temenos SaaS to replace its legacy in-house system and achieve end-to-end digital transformation. The front-to-back SaaS digital banking offering will provide the broadest out-of-the-box functionality for Al Ain Finance to deliver differentiated digital experiences to SMEs. Temenos’ SaaS solution will be hosted on Microsoft Azure and meant that it could be remotely implemented and will simplify its digital business model and drive operational efficiencies.
Ajith Nayak explains the selection: “Some of our business leaders had worked with Temenos at other institutions, and reported very positive experiences. They knew that Temenos provides exceptional capabilities, which very few of our competitors in this region possess. Also, the Temenos cloud delivery model offers huge advantages to us, as we could avoid the added complexity and costs of managing infrastructure, which would have been very difficult without a dedicated IT team working round-the-clock. Temenos SaaS offering will provide us with a pre-packaged, comprehensive corporate banking product to provide superior digital experiences to our SME customers.”
Going live in a rapid timeframe
Al Ain Finance managed to implement the new core and digital platforms within two months— a proposition made more challenging by the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Temenos’ cloud-native, technology was delivered remotely as Temenos SaaS to allow the business to respond to increasing demand for digital banking during Covid-19 in the quickest possible timeframe. Temenos and Stoics IT provided the expert resources to complete the go-live for loans, fixed deposits, accounts, payments, and liquidity management solutions inside the target-date. Soon after, the project team added Temenos Infinity internet and mobile banking functionality, and is now working to launch check clearing and Direct Debits.
“Going live so quickly was a great achievement, especially with the disruption caused by the pandemic. Temenos managed the entire process remotely and communicated exceptionally well throughout the implementation. Normally, we would expect a new solution to need some reworking and fine-tuning following the go-live, but with Temenos everything worked from day one”
Ajith Nayak, Head of Operations at AI Ain Finance
Setting the standard for digital transformation
With the successful implementation, Al Ain Finance PJSC became one of the first finance companies in the region to harness the latest version of Temenos Transact running in the cloud. In another ground-breaking move, the core platform interfaces directly with the systems of the Central Bank of the UAE to enable clients to make secure, compliant electronic wage transfers. Combined with making banking better by providing SME’s with much needed access to liquidity, fast, we see Al Ain Finance as a true “Changemaker”.
“Even employees with limited experience of modern core systems find the Temenos solutions easy to use,” adds Ajith Nayak. “They particularly enjoy being able to access consolidated customer information through a single interface, rather than having to click between multiple applications. Although Temenos offers cutting-edge, sophisticated functionality, the learning curve for users was very quick and simple.”
Technology Innovation improving customer experiences
Supported by Temenos, Al Ain Finance achieved its goal of broadening its service portfolio and winning more business among SME clients in the Emirates. The company now offers a comprehensive suite of lending, deposits, and payments products. These include enhanced Wage Protection System (WPS) offerings, which help SMEs to pay their workers in a timely manner, while registering transactions with the Central Bank.
Furthermore, Al Ain Finance now offers clients the flexibility and convenience of managing their accounts via internet or mobile channels. Rather than relying on traditional customer verification methods, the company integrated its digital services with third-party biometric security solutions—enabling clients to use fingerprint and facial recognition to confirm their identity and positioning Al Ain Finance as a leading innovator in the SME market.
“Customer feedback for our new products has been excellent. Since the launch of our enhanced service portfolio, we have seen marginal increase in client numbers for our WPS offerings, and overall growth in business volumes. All of these were achieved at a lower operational cost.”
Ajith Nayak, Head of Operations at AI Ain Finance
Leveraging Technology to drive efficiency
The Temenos solution also helped Al Ain Finance PJSC to develop faster, more efficient business processes. For example, users previously created reports manually using spreadsheets to collate data. With Temenos Transact, the company can generate reports at the click of a button, ensuring business leaders gain insights into market trends sooner, and enabling employees to focus more time and energy on value-add tasks.
Ajith Nayak concludes: “Working with Temenos has been a great experience. Whichever direction that we take, we know that Temenos will provide the solutions, expertise, and implementation support to ensure our success. It is a great partnership, and we look forward to the next stage of the journey.”