Tuesday 10, January 2017 by Georgina Enzer

Ithmar Bank plans NFC payments service

Bahrain-based Ithmaar Bank, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Batelco, Bahrain’s leading telecom provider, and electronic payments outsourcing service provider Arab Financial Services (AFS), to launch the Kingdom’s first ever mobile payment service.

“Batelco has continuously embedded innovation as a central to its strategy with the aim of delivering first class customer experience. This new service is a step forward towards this aim, opening exciting opportunities in the future as technology, digital banking and customers’ needs continue to evolve,” CEO Muna Al Hashemi. “Batelco and Ithmaar Bank customers can now enjoy a hassle-free transaction at the partnered retail outlets through this convenient and reliable service.”

The new service uses secure Near Field Communication (NFC) tags, designed to eliminate the need for cash or cards by allowing customers to shop simply by tapping their mobile phones at the checkout counters of participating merchants. The launch marks a key milestone for the Bahrain retail market, potentially revolutionising customer shopping experiences with secure, real-time payments now possible directly from their mobile phone.

“Ithmaar Bank played a pioneering role in the establishment and subsequent development of Islamic banking in the region,” said Ithmaar Bank Chief Executive Officer, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “We developed this new service with AFS, the technology provider, in line with our long-standing commitment to continuously improving our products and services, and are pleased to be partnering with Batelco to help make this innovative service available to as many people as possible.”

To use the new service, customers subscribe for an Ithmaar Bank prepaid eCard at their nearest Batelco shop or Ithmaar Bank branches and receive their NFC tags, which can then be used at participating merchants.
“AFS has been a leader in providing innovative payment services in MENA region for over three decades. We are proud to launch the first of its kind NFC enabled mobile payments solution in Bahrain and are delighted to partner with Batelco and Ithmaar Bank for this service. We have plans to introduce more innovative products to create an enhanced customer experience,” said Arab Financial Services CEO B Chandrasekhar.

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