At a Glance

1 million daily transactions processed seamlessly at peak times with Temenos core banking

3x faster time to market for new services compared to typical core systems

6 months to complete new acquired USD 2.2 billion bank integration that has tripled customer base

Established in the Kingdom of Bahrain in 2006, Al Salam Bank is a pioneering Sharia-compliant bank. It offers an extensive range of retail banking services, together with corporate banking, private banking, asset management, and treasury services, and serves tens of thousands of customers throughout the Kingdom.

Since its launch, Al Salam Bank has pursued an aggressive strategy of expansion, targeting triple-digit growth across all metrics and building income from diverse lines of business. This approach has helped Al Salam Bank establish itself as the fastest-growing bank in the region and an influential force in the Islamic banking industry.

Mohammed Saleh, VP of Information Technology at Al Salam Bank, comments: “Starting in 2010, we have made a series of high-profile acquisitions. Along with organic growth, this strategy has significantly increased our customer base, assets, and income, and helped Al Salam Bank grow into the biggest Islamic bank in Bahrain.”

Sustaining the growth curve

Although acquisitions have been the driving force behind Al Salam Bank’s impressive growth, they also add significant complexity to operations. Each acquisition brings additional employees and customers for the bank to onboard, along with new systems and processes to integrate. Managing this complexity takes a strong vision, strategy, and execution—backed by a firm technology foundation. For core banking technology, Al Salam Bank counts on Temenos, which has served as a key partner since day one.

“Our management originally chose Temenos core banking platform based on the strength of its reputation and the flexibility of its development and integration framework. Unlike other core banking systems, which can be quite rigid and hard to customize, Temenos makes it easy for us to adapt to new requirements from the business, and rapidly roll out new functionality and products. This agility is invaluable to us as a bank that’s constantly growing and changing.”

Mohammed Saleh, VP of Information Technology at Al Salam Bank

Today, Al Salam Bank uses Temenos core banking modules to support its operations—from deposits and treasury services to wealth management, all in compliance with Sharia banking principles.

Harnessing fast, flexible core banking

Used by Al Salam Bank for more than 15 years, Temenos has more than lived up to its reputation for core banking excellence. The bank has made multiple extensions, integrations, and upgrades on the platform, which has proven to be both fast and flexible.

Mohammed Saleh says: “Most of the banks that we have acquired over the years were using different core banking systems. When we migrated them onto Temenos, they really noticed the difference, especially in terms of the platform’s flexibility and speed to market for new servicers. For instance, at other banks, it can typically take six months to bring new products to market. With Temenos, we can bring new products to market three times faster, in no more than one to two months,.”

Managing millions of daily transactions

Supported by Temenos, Al Salam Bank has been able to maintain its impressive growth trajectory and keep its banking services in constant evolution. The past year in particular has been an important period of expansion and renewal for the bank. In early 2022, Al Salam Bank completed an upgrade of its core banking system.

Immediately after this upgrade, the bank made a major acquisition, taking on Ithmaar Bank’s consumer banking business in a transaction worth USD 2.2 billion. With the acquisition, Al Salam Bank tripled its customer base—and thanks to Temenos, was able to onboard the new customers and their data swiftly and smoothly.

“We transformed from different core banking system to map and migrate all of the customer data. We also followed governance from Temenos services teams to ensure that we followed the correct steps during the migration. This enabled us to complete the process in record time: the project took just six months from start to finish. What’s more, it was a very seamless transitions; we were able to bring the new business onto Temenos without any disruption to the customer experience.”

Mohammed Saleh, VP of Information Technology at Al Salam Bank

Growing strong with first-rate services

As Al Salam Bank continues its journey of expansion, it can count on Temenos to provide a scalable core banking foundation, capable of handling significantly higher customer and transaction volumes without missing a beat.

“When we tripled our customer base with our latest acquisition, we anticipated that there might be some performance or volume issues,” admits Mohammed Saleh. “Instead, it proved incredibly easy to scale our core banking environment within the same infrastructure footprint. This allowed us to avoid making additional hardware investments, helping to keep our costs down.”

“Alongside this increase in our customer base, we’ve seen a big jump in transactions. We now process around 400,000 transactions a day. At peak times, like at month end when salaries are paid, we can reach up to one million daily transactions. Temenos core banking supports it all flawlessly; it gives us great confidence to know that the platform can handle pretty much anything we throw at it.”

Mohammed Saleh, VP of Information Technology at Al Salam Bank

Reaching new heights of success

Buoyed by its latest acquisition, as well as the organic expansion of key business lines, Al Salam Bank has seen its banking business grow from strength to strength. In 2022, the bank posted a total operating income of USD 412 million, a 42 percent increase on the previous year. During the same period, Al Salam Bank saw net profits rise by 48 percent to reach more than USD 83 million.

Mohammed Saleh concludes: “Temenos has been a vital contributor to our remarkable growth. They’ve been by our side through it all, as we’ve made many acquisitions and expanded our horizons to new lines of business and customer segments. We consider Temenos to be much more than a technology provider; they are a truly invaluable partner to Al Salam Bank. Together, we can look ahead to a bright future.”