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Commercial Bank of Qatar launches comprehensive mobile banking, payment services

Commercial Bank of Qatar, the largest private-sector bank in Qatar, has launched comprehensive mobile banking and mobile payments services for its retail customers.

The financial institution tapped Sybase Inc.’s Sybase 365, a specialist in mobile messaging and mobile commerce services, to power the mobile platforms. The new, free downloadable mobile banking applications provide customers with instant and secure connectivity to accounts anywhere, anytime, and complement Commercial Bank’s Internet banking service.

“The strategy behind the implementation of mobile banking services was conceived to meet the demands of our diverse and sophisticated customer base,” said Raju Buddhiraju, executive general manager and chief retail banking officer at Commercial Bank of Qatar, Doha.

“Commercial Bank is the first to market in Qatar to offer a full-fledged mobile banking platform,” he said. “CBQ believes that building a successful mobile platform is dependent on more than just what types of services are available—the sign-up process must be simple.

“While the initial strategy behind the implementation of CBQ’s mobile banking platform was to meet the disparate needs of their diverse customer base, CommercialBank of Qatar also saw opportunities with the platform to grow their base and increase market share.” 

Commercial Bank was established in 1975 and is Qatar’s first private bank. The bank currently services 1.7 million people of Qatar. Fewer than a million of its customers are citizens of the country and the rest are foreigners.

Mobile banking, payments
Customers can use the app to check balances, review transaction history and transfer funds between accounts. 

The interactive service also lets customers to make balance enquiries on all bank and card accounts, receive transaction summaries, make utility bill payments and order check books, as well as undertake local money transfers and international remittances.

Commercial Bank Mobile Banking is compatible with most mobile devices, including iPhone, BlackBerry and other Internet-enabled phones from Nokia, Sony Ericsson, HTC and Motorola.

Commercial Bank’s state-of-the-art mobile banking service allows customers, who are already registered for Internet banking, to bank through their existing mobile devices.

Services that are offered to their mobile banking customers include balance enquiries, credit card payments, account transfers, check book orders, utility bill payments and local and overseas remittances.

“The mobile banking platform for CBQ is safe, secure and free for all customers,” Mr. Buddhiraju said. “The platform enhances their accessibility to banking services, thereby enabling them to bank 24/7 anywhere around the world.”

Additionally, the service works with any local or international telecom provider.

Commercial Bank wants to offer its customers a  mobile banking experience that is both rich in functionality, while being accessible across a wide range of mobile devices.

The service had to support smartphones such as iPhone and BlackBerry and provide an equivalent user experience with a mobile internet version of the service.

The service had to support not just simple non-transactional services such as bank balances, but also complex transaction services such as bill-payment, money transfer and even international remittance.

CBQ expects that customer acquisition will be bolstered by the applications.

In particular, it expects that the new, tech-savvy segment of the population will be especially attracted to the convenience of the service.

CBQ expects that 3,000 additional customer migrations per month to the mobile banking platform.

“As customer uptake levels grow and demand for mobile payments increases, merchant payments through mobile banking are also anticipated to grow,” Mr. Buddhiraju said. “This activity will also come with the reduction of bank branch and ATM costs.

“While there is investment required to offer the mobile services, the benefits of the opportunity to seize market share because of its convenience, accessibility and ease of use,” he said.

Final Take
Sybase 365 mcommerce services