It is revealing itself as an increasingly popular channel for consumers to get information on financial products and services and to self-manage their own accounts with their banking institution.
24/7 instant availability, intuitiveness, integrity, and reliability all are key factors to ensure customer satisfaction and the means for a strong relationship between financial institutions and their end-users.
Established in 1984 following the acquisition of Arab Bank, Oman Arab Bank offers a wide range of products and services to meet the needs of a broad range of financial services to individual, corporate, and institutional customers, government agencies and other international financial institutions.
These services include retail banking, private banking, trade financing, merchant banking, commercial banking, and real estate lending.
With over 800 employees, spread across 47 branches in the Sultanate of Oman, the bank is playing a leading role in developing e-banking services.
As recognition, the Central Bank of Oman selected Oman Arab Bank as one of the best bank for electronic payment systems.
For over a decade, Oman Arab Bank has invested in building a sophisticated infrastructure. This infrastructure is a refined IT backbone that can be aligned with evolving business needs quickly and effectively.
With an ever-increasing client-base, Oman Arab Bank wanted to launch e-banking services to increase customer satisfaction and provide a self-service banking portal allowing users to conduct financial transactions conveniently in a secure and intuitive manner around the clock.
They also intended to address retail and corporate business requirements differently, as well as having localized versions of the portal fully bilingual.
For Oman Arab Bank, the successful criteria for the solution was reliability, time to market, total cost of ownership and optimal reuse of the bank’s IT assets.
The competition within the financial services market required a solution that was efficient, cost effective and could be implemented rapidly.
Farabi Professional Services Group (a Seagull Software Business Partner) proposed a solution that fit the needs and concerns of retail and corporate business units, legal, IT, marketing and business auditors without compromising agility, flexibility, and the overall value to the end user.
To develop the financial web services, Farabi used Seagull Software’s HostFront, an industry-leading integration platform, and the latest in Microsoft Server Platform and .NET technology.
The solution offered an Internet banking self-service portal hosted on highly available redundant and clustered environment, allowing seamless integration with the existing “Equation” core-banking application running on an IBM iSeries midrange system.
The solution took advantage of the existing Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) EAI integration between Oman Arab Bank and its partners to deliver an e-commerce model aside of the portal.
The solution covered the appropriate authentication and authorization with a strong security policy and granular access control of all financial services.
Services are granted or denied by bank’s administrators for retail consumers while corporate users are managed internally by a nominated corporate administrator to offload the burden of internal corporate policies from the bank administrators’.
“Oman Arab Bank has partnered with Farabi to build a sophisticated set of Internet banking services. This has added tremendous value to both the business community and certainly to our customers. Oman Arab Bank customers (retail and corporate) can take advantage of these services anytime anywhere”, said Hassan AbdulAli Mohammed Al-Lawati, Deputy General Manager – T Head at Oman Arab Bank. “Oman Arab Bank are soundly admitting its unique presence offering ecommerce services aside of e-banking i.e. online payment for the third party such as PTT and all the mobile operators in the Sultanate. Our partnership with Farabi has grown particularly as a result of finishing the project on time, within budget and with a high level of quality”, he added.
“Having accomplished numerous banking solutions for banks in the region, our value proposition to Oman Arab Bank was solid and effective. As opposed to costly rigid ready-made packages for online banking on one hand, or the high-risk, lengthy development of custom-made packages, the Farabi solution provided the best of both worlds by customizing a solution using HostFront and with other online banking components,” said Abdullah Obeid Professional Services Manager at Farabi Technology Middle East. “Our approach allowed us to cruise through the implementation and realize the client’s expectations in without any problems”, he added.
The professional services were conducted at Oman Arab Bank’s premises, which helped ensure a smooth transition for the in-house developers.
The banking transformation for Oman Arab Bank and its customers has been remarkable.
Most importantly, it allowed the bank to increase its client base while providing existing customers with the services they expect.
Oman Arab Bank is planning to boost its modern presence in the online market as well as coupling more retail channels to achieve a comprehensive portfolio of state-of-the art financial services.
The plan is to get closer to the consumer and provide them with convenient services and to take a chief role in the e-government initiatives.
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