The United Bank of Egypt has embarked on a far-reaching Digital Transformation, reinventing systems and processes. Ahmed Helmy, CIO, United Bank of Egypt, shares with Intelligent CIO Africa why it was important for the bank to embark on this Digital Transformation journey.
The United Bank of Egypt was established with a vision to drive financial stability and increased economic growth in Egypt. The bank has a particular focus on the small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) market and aims to become a leader in this sector and the country’s top local bank.
Ahmed Helmy, CIO, United Bank of Egypt, said: “We are keen to grow our business and widen the range of products and services that we offer to retail and corporate customers. At the same time, we want to ensure that this expansion does not come at the cost of profitability or compliance. We are determined that going digital- embracing Internet and mobile banking services alongside our existing branch network-offers an ideal way to achieve our goals. With digitalisation, we can bring compelling banking services to market quickly and cost-effectively, improving the customer experience and our competitive advantage.”
The United Bank recognises that a strong technology foundation is key to fulfilling these ambitions. With stable, efficient systems and processes in place, the bank can grow in a cost-effective way and ensure compliance with Islamic banking standards and regulatory requirements. “To achieve our goals of delivering new digital services, we first needed to renovate our underlying technology infrastructure,” said Helmy. “Existing processes were overly complex, which dulled efficiency and made it difficult for us to launch new services quickly. This drove us to review our entire IT landscape, with the aim of streamlining and modernising end-to-end operations.”
United Bank of Egypt has been working with Finastra since its inception in 2006. With its sights set on a major digital strategic transformation, the bank turned to Finastra.
Helmy explained that: “Finastra was the ideal partner to help us revolutionise our business. The high degree of functionality in its solutions and future direction of its product roadmaps were a perfect fit to support the current and anticipated requirements of our organisation.”
The bank upgraded its existing core banking infrastructure by moving to Fusion Equation 4.3, taking advantage of cutting-edge functionality to enable new digital and mobile banking services. “One of the great things about Fusion Equation is how easy it is to integrate with other shared services. We have made extensive use of the new platform’s open APIs to extend to other digital services, helping us bring exciting new offerings to our customers quickly and cost-effectively,” he said.
United Bank of Egypt has also implemented Fusion Teller, which integrates directly with Fusion Equation, to drive more efficient operations and a better customer experience across the bank’s growing branch network. On the corporate side, The United bank will take advantage of Fusion Trade Innovation to streamline and automate both trade and supply chain finance, delivering a superior service to its SME client base. In addition, the bank has upgraded to the latest version of Fusion Treasury, driving cost-effective and compliant treasury operations.
With innovative, omni-channel banking services, the bank can set itself apart from competition to win more customers and boost market share.
“Since upgrading to Fusion Equation 4.3, we have increased the number of products we offer to our customers by 20%,” he said.
Successful upgrade journey
To help its Fusion Equation upgrade progress smoothly, United Bank of Egypt made use of the Fusion Advance service, leveraging proven best practices and support from Finastra to ensure that the new solution was delivered with a high level of predictability to minimise business disruption.
Helmy added that: “We brought the upgrade in on time and within budget, largely owing to the excellent support we received from Finastra. At the outset of the project, the team took time to understand our requirements and put together a comprehensive project plan, using their highly qualified resources. Finastra were right there beside us at every stage in our journey, gathering feedback, performing extensive testing and refining their approach to make sure the new functionality was in line with our goals. The Fusion Advance approach to upgrades helped us to reduce the project risk and deliver a high-quality solution, paving the way for continued success at United Bank.”
With a cutting-edge core banking infrastructure in place, United Bank of Egypt has gained the agility it needs to keep pace with changing customer and market requirements.
Helmy pointed out that since upgrading to Fusion Equation 4.3, the bank has increased the number of products it offers to customers by 20%. “A richer range of offerings will enable us to attract new customers and increase our cross-sell capability with existing customers. In addition, new found efficiency and control over risk helps the bank grow in a stable and profitable way. We have made significant efficiency gains-shortening the time taken to set up new branches by 40% and accelerating end-of-day processing by 30%, which helps us deliver a high quality of service at lower cost,” he explained. “What’s more, we have much stronger risk management in place. This has helped us reduce operational risk to a minimum, so that it is now at a level deemed acceptable by audit teams.”
By enhancing existing in-branch services and expanding its range of offerings to include innovative mobile and online banking solutions, United Bank of Egypt has set itself apart from the competition, helping grow its customer base and market share.
Helmy said: “Our new approach to banking will help us connect more closely with customers, and allow us to deliver exceptional services that exceed their expectations. Working with a world class software provider like Finastra will help us achieve our goals and significantly contribute to our success in the market.”Click below to share this article