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Neobanks and AI for fraud mitigation start to take center stage to support digital in GCC

By Fadi Yazbeck 11 Feb 2019

We now live in a digital world. According to a report by emarketer, smartphone penetration is 83% and 73% of the UAE and Saudi populations respectively.

Digital means instant, transparent and seamless and increasingly, Islamic banking customers expect their bank experience to also offer this approach. Banking should be no different to interacting with those services that support our digital lives such as Amazon, UAE ride-sharing service Careem, and Google, etc. Fail to offer an intuitive, similar banking experience and you fail to meet the expectations of the new tech savvy Generation Z audience that are soon to be your dominant target customers. Digital Islamic banking isn’t the future, it’s the now, but there are risks.

Cybercriminals love digital, in fact, smartphone platforms are the second most targeted platform by hackers after Windows. The GCC in particular is being hit hard. PwC’s 2018 survey Pulling fraud out of the shadows: A spotlight on the Middle East, highlights that fraud and economic crime has increased 12% in just two years. And digital banking is taking a major hit; according to 2017’s Norton Cyber Security Insights Report, 29% of UAE respondents had payment information stolen from their phones last year.

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