At a Glance

• Supports 4.5 million customers and secures 33% of the Islamic banking market in Pakistan

Rises to fourth largest Pakistani bank from 13th in 2009

30% faster product development enables innovation and boosts appeal to customers

20 times rise in deposits and 400% growth in branch network since 2009

90% more online transactions than over-the-counter transactions.

Meezan Bank has achieved a meteoric rise to become the largest Islamic bank in Pakistan. Initially established as an investment bank, Meezan Bank became the first Islamic commercial bank of Pakistan in 2002, with a comprehensive range of Shariah-compliant retail, business, treasury, trade finance, and corporate banking services.

Ali Imran Khan, Deputy Chief Information Officer at Meezan Bank explains: “We aim to be first choice for people seeking financial services without compromising on their faith. By bringing our offerings to more consumers, we hope to improve financial inclusion and create a more equitable society.”

In recent years, the Islamic banking market in Pakistan has become increasingly popular. Although Meezan Bank is the pioneer, there are now many other Islamic and conventional banks with Shariah-compliant offerings. So how has Meezan Bank managed to rise so quickly and maintain its status as the premier Islamic bank in Pakistan? One key factor has been the Bank’s longstanding focus on strengthening its technological infrastructure. Over the years, the Bank has held a longstanding partnership with Temenos.

Aiming for a streamlined and scalable approach

In the years following its launch, Meezan Bank saw consistent growth in customer volumes, deposits, and transactions. Gradually, though, as the Bank’s popularity grew over time so did its demands for an efficient technology strategy. At that time, each branch ran its own servers to record and process transactions. But as the bank expanded to more than 150 locations, there was a need for a more sustainable, less complex and costly solution.

Ali Imran Khan continues: “Our legacy core banking system was decentralized. Customer data was not stored centrally and we had to do extra efforts to enable the online transactions. We continued to add hardware when we opened a branch, which resulted in managing hundreds of servers, taking up valuable time and resources.”

Harnessing a centralized core system

To maintain its upwards growth trajectory, Meezan Bank looked to replace its legacy systems with a powerful, centralized core banking platform. After assessing potential solutions, the bank chose Temenos core banking, engaging Temenos business partner Systems Limited to plan and manage the implementation.

Temenos core banking offered high levels of scalability and the opportunity to implement international best practices. The solution also provided useful multi-book accounting functionality. Temenos works with many leading banks in Pakistan, and Systems Limited has extensive experience working on major transformation projects.”

Ali Imran Khan, Deputy Chief Information Officer at Meezan Bank

During the deployment, Systems Limited helped to familiarize users at Meezan Bank with the tools in Temenos core banking, as Ali Imran Khan confirms: “It’s important to have knowledgeable partners for large-scale projects. Systems Limited and Temenos were excellent: they not only resolved any issues/challenges faced, but also helped us build our internal skillset.”

Enabling seamless fintech integrations

Today, Meezan Bank uses the full suite of modules within Temenos core banking to support its operations—from deposits and treasury services to Islamic trade finance. The bank is also exploring using the open API capabilities of the Temenos platform to integrate with third-party solutions.

The functionality of Temenos trade finance platform is very rich and Temenos is continuously enhancing it, adding integration with other systems, as well as partners. The automation features have significantly reduced processing times, allowing us to handle a higher volume of transactions with unparalleled efficiency.”

Ali Imran Khan, Deputy Chief Information Officer at Meezan Bank

Ali Imran Khan adds: “Islamic fintechs are a growth market in Pakistan, especially in payments and financing. We have already connected our core platform with services from one startup, and we know that it will be quick and easy to onboard others. In time, we expect the Pakistani market to move towards Open Banking; Through continuous investment in digital infrastructure and innovation, we aim to pioneer the future of banking, making it more accessible, convenient, and customer-centric. Temenos core banking gives us the integration capabilities we will need to capitalize on the shift.” 

Expanding the scope for innovation

Using Temenos core banking, the bank integrated the core platform with its digital and mobile channels to enable customers to access their accounts, check transactions, and make payments anytime, anywhere.

Innovation is integral to our success, and we invest heavily in research into combining leading-edge banking services with Shariah guidelines, Temenos fits right into this mix. With Temenos core banking, we have reduced time to market for new products by at least 30 percent compared to our legacy systems—which helps us to increase our appeal to consumers.”

Ali Imran Khan, Deputy Chief Information Officer at Meezan Bank

Meezan Bank can now launch a product in 3 to 4 months’ time, previously, it was more than a year.

Reaching millions of customers

Replacing distributed legacy systems with a centralized core platform has made expanding the bank’s branch network much easier. Now, the bank simply onboards new locations to the platform, without adding local infrastructure. Meezan Bank had around 200 branches when Temenos was deployed; it now has more than 1000 across Pakistan.

Enhanced services and a wider branch network have contributed to a much larger customer base: Meezan Bank has more than 4.5 million customers and is now the most profitable Pakistani bank. Meezan Bank also continues to lead the Islamic banking market, with a 33 percent share—When Temenos was deployed, Meezan Bank had just reached the top 15 banks in Pakistan, with deposits of PKR 100 billion; today, it is ranked number four, with deposits of PKR 1.66 trillion. On the digital front, Meezan bank’s transaction volume are growing, with 90% more online transactions than over-the-counter transactions.

Ali Imran Khan continues: “Temenos core banking has been one of the important components in our phenomenal growth. The platform allows us to innovate and seamlessly manage much higher transaction volumes.”

Winning international recognition

Meezan Bank’s success has brought plaudits within Pakistan and beyond. The bank has been named as the ‘Best Bank’ – (2018 & 2020) and ‘Best Consumer Bank’ (2022) at the most prestigious Pakistan Banking Awards by IBP Pakistan, as well as being heralded by prestigious international publications such as Global Finance, Asiamoney and The Banker.

“Temenos is one of our most valuable partners: they are committed to our success, offer an excellent product roadmap and a first-class solution. In our 14 years of operations with Temenos, we were able to roll out numerous initiatives where we had some challenges but with help from Temenos team we were able to resolve these challenges in a timely manner. We look forward to the next stage of the collaboration as we continue to expand our products and services and build a fairer and more prosperous Pakistan.”

Ali Imran Khan, Deputy Chief Information Officer at Meezan Bank

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Systems Limited is a global technology public limited company founded in 1977 with the mission to offer holistic transformations to its clients.