The Commercial International Bank – Egypt (CIB) has achieved outstanding results in its digital transformation journey during 2021.
The Bank has continued to prove its status as the market leader by providing its customers with an unparalleled banking experience following the latest international standards. These efforts align with the nation’s financial inclusion strategy and follow the guidelines set by the Central Bank of Egypt.
In 2021, the number of digital banking transactions performed through Mobile Banking increased by more than double, reaching 107%. The value of transactions increased 159% to EGP 136bn y-o-y. In FY21, the value of transactions performed through digital channels increased by 60%, reaching EGP 861bn. The number of individual customers subscribed to Internet Banking also increased by 30% y-o-y. Furthermore, CIB Smart Wallet subscribers increased by 19%, doubling the value of executed transactions, which increased by 160%, equivalent to EGP 7.3bn. The number of ATMs also increased 15% y-o-y.
CIB’s Business Online services for corporate customers have also witnessed a major leap since the beginning of the pandemic, with customers depending completely on channels that offer alternatives to cash transactions and paperwork. The CIB business online transactions increased 103% y-o-y. In FY21, the number of subscribers had increased by 46%.
The Bank has successfully expanded its customer base for governmental e-payments for corporations through its Corporate Payment Services platform (CPS), establishing itself as the market’s leading bank in CPS service by the number of transactions performed. By FY21, the number of transactions increased by 104% y-o-y with a value exceeding EGP 23.4bn.
“We were able to achieve these remarkable numbers thanks to our unwavering commitment to enhancing our digital services, following our culture of innovation,” said Mr. Hussein Abaza, the CIB’s CEO and Board Member. “These results reaffirm our leading role in providing high-quality innovative banking solutions and are a testament to the effort we put into supporting the nation’s direction to transition to a digital economy,” he added.
“These achievements reflect the Bank’s strategy to increase the use of digital banking services,” said Mohamed Sultan, the CIB’s Chief Operating Officer. “At the forefront of the CIB’s priorities is the implementation of the CBE’s initiatives that aim to achieve financial inclusion and transition to a cashless society. We realize that in order to achieve economic growth, a number of banking products tailored to the different segments and groups of society must be provided, such as smart wallets and Meeza prepaid cards. We also understand that it’s crucial to collaborate with microfinance companies to provide working women in rural areas and low-income communities with short-term working capital loans. Additionally, a large part of our financial inclusion efforts is directed toward facilitating the CIB Smart Wallet registration process and raising awareness of the importance of banking services in rural areas,” he added.
“We are proud of our strong market leadership in the digital banking field,” said Mohamed Farag, the CIB’s Deputy Chief Operating Officer. “For the past several years, the Bank has utilized the latest technologies and provided innovative digital banking solutions for traditional daily banking transactions. These solutions are customer-centric and are constantly upgraded to increase the spread of banking services and reach the largest number of people, thus effectively contributing to financial inclusion.”
The CIB has gained its market leadership position through the integrated range of digital products it provides to its corporate and individual customers, such as the Internet Banking and Mobile Banking services, ensuring a convenient and secure banking experience. The CIB’s Online Banking services include opening new additional accounts, booking time deposits and certificates of deposit, requesting credit and debit card replacements, subscribing to e-statements, applying for loans and credit cards, among many other services, all of which aim to offload in-branch services. The Bank’s chatbot, Zaki, uses the latest AI technologies that allow the CIB customers to easily navigate the Bank’s products and services in both Arabic and English. It was created to address the growing need for simple digital solutions that enable customers to perform their banking transactions more efficiently. The Bank has also rolled out Zaki for its Business Banking segment, which enables customers to inquire about the Bank’s products easily and offloads in-branch services and call centers.
The CIB regularly updates its ATM network using the latest systems to guarantee their efficiency by tracking, reporting, and resolving any technical issues as soon as they arise. The CIB also constantly enhances its cash loading procedures, adopts Robotics Process Automation (RPA) technology in some operational tasks, and employs data science and AI technologies to operate its ATMs and increase their efficiency, in addition to equipping employees with the necessary skills and tools to handle the machines. The CIB now uses AI to enable customers to locate its ATMs via GPS on its website and through Zaki. The CIB is also deploying more than 650 talking ATMs designed to serve visually-impaired customers, making their day-to-day banking experience more accessible.
The CIB Smart Wallet application provides customers with various services, including money transfers to any other wallet in Egypt, bill payments (electricity, gas, water, mobile credit, and internet), and online shopping using virtual cards or through QR codes. The wallet also allows customers to deposit and withdraw cash through ATMs and authorized banking agents.
The CIB’s partnership with the Alexandria Business Association (ABA) is considered a turning point in the Bank’s digital transformation journey. The association’s members can now easily receive and pay off microfinance loans through the CIB Smart Wallet once they subscribe to the service through any of the association’s branches. This partnership comes as part of CIB’s leading role in providing digital services and supporting the nation’s financial inclusion and digital transformation efforts.
In cooperation with the Egyptian Banks Company, the CIB recently launched the Instant Payment Network (IPN), highlighting its commitment to adopting new technologies as part of its advocacy for the digitization of the banking sector in Egypt. This important step will significantly enhance the retail and business banking experiences, making them more efficient and streamlined.
The Instant Payment Network allows instant and seamless transfers between banks and different account types, as well as Meeza cards and Smart Wallet accounts. Customers can access all their bank accounts through each bank’s app or Payment Service Providers (PSPs). The IPN will create an interoperable ecosystem between different accounts and enable customers to easily access their bank accounts, Meeza cards, and digital wallets.
Business customers can manage their company’s accounts 24/7 through the dedicated online platform. This platform allows customers to perform various transactions, including internal and external transfers, view transaction details and account balances, as well as perform all international business transactions, such as LCs and LGs. These services can be performed remotely without visiting the Bank.
As part of the CIB’s efforts to provide exclusive services to its Business Banking customers, a new program was launched to finance suppliers’ needs and enable contracting through a single electronic platform. The program’s initial phase provides financing opportunities for small and medium enterprises. It streamlines operations through an innovative electronic platform that meets global standards and programs that finance supply chains at low costs.
Offloading in-branch services as part of CIB’s Bank of the Future strategic initiative was met with great success. The Bank transitioned a number of banking services to its digital channels besides the services already available on these channels. The Bank notified customers of the available services and provided them with information on how to access them to eliminate the need to visit the bank. This comes hand in hand with the nation’s strategy to achieve financial inclusion and transform into a cashless society and digital economy. It also comes as part of the Bank’s efforts to spread a culture of digital banking among customers and provide the best banking experience possible. This initiative will make more banking services available online to allow customers to perform banking transactions anytime, anywhere. The CIB aims to provide secure and convenient solutions to customers and employees alike through the latest banking technologies.
The CIB Smart Wallet received the Best Technological Innovation in Payments Award at the 2020 Seamless Middle East Awards, one of the most prestigious awards in electronic payments, e-commerce, and retail, presented to institutions showing unparalleled success in this field. Additionally, CIB Smart Wallet has been ranked as the leading mobile wallet in the Egyptian banking industry, in recognition of the Bank’s remarkable efforts in digital solutions.
The CIB has consistently been recognized as the most profitable bank operating in Egypt and the bank of choice for over 500 of Egypt’s largest corporations. The CIB was named the World’s Best Bank in Emerging Markets by Global Finance in 2018 and 2020, and it was awarded the same title by Euromoney in 2017. CIB is also the first institution in the Middle East to be the subject of a business case study as part of the London Business School’s curriculum for graduate students. In 2021, Bloomberg included CIB in its “Gender Equality Index”, making it the first company in Egypt and Africa to be listed on the index, which includes 380 companies from 44 countries representing 11 sectors.