Banking is not the same anymore.

Gone are days when banking demanded at least half a day for a consumer to deposit or withdraw money.

It might sound over the board, but there were days when people had to apply for a day’s leave to get done with a few banking tasks. Right from physically being present at the bank to waiting in long queues to fill up the deposit or withdrawal slips made traditional banking extremely lethargic.

Digital banking services, on the contrary, have broken the sluggish methodology practiced by traditional banking and replaces it by making banking easily accessible, safe, secure, and possible just at the click of a button.

Since the wake of the pandemic, consumers’ appetite for digital banking services continues to grow.

Talking about the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council), consumers’ interest in digital banking services has been accelerated since then.

As per a survey conducted by Backbase with YouGov, about 89% of respondents are more likely to go for digital banking services than paying physical visits to banks.

Consumers also mentioned that they prefer digital self-service banking solutions offered with the same convenience and ease as offered by eCommerce, entertainment, and transport solutions.

Post the pandemic, GCC consumers from its banking services are looking for aspects like,

  • Convenience and speed
  • Paperless interaction
  • Accuracy and delightful customer experience

The only way to deliver these at par is by offering the finest digital banking services provided by the most disruptive fintech.

Before we move toward understanding more about the acceptance and demand for digital banking solutions in the GCC region, let us know what countries make the GCC.

The Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) is a political and economic alliance of six Middle Eastern countries:

  • Saudi Arabia
  • Kuwait
  • the United Arab Emirates
  • Qatar
  • Bahrain
  • Oman

Reasons, why consumers in the GCC are likely to choose digital banking services, post the COVID-19 pandemic

Social distancing, curfew, lockdown, closures of bank branches during the initial days of the pandemic persuaded people to pay bills or make money transfers using a mobile banking app.

Ecommerce that delivered everything, right from daily essentials, medicines, apparel, and more, accepted online payments via secured payment gateways and discouraged cash on delivery to contain the spread of the deadly coronavirus.

These measures encouraged going cashless and added to the popularity of using digital money.

According to the survey,

About 77% of respondents say they use digital banking services at least once every week. Whereas the remaining approx. 30% use these services at least once a day or more.

The sudden increase in the adoption and acceptance rate of digital transformation in the financial sector makes it inevitable for banks in the region to strategically add online banking services to their plan.

Banking leaders in the region are also aware of how digitization in the banking industry is becoming unavoidable to retain customers and add new ones.

Customer expectations from digital banking

Customer demands with digital banking are growing and getting complex. Today a banking customer, apart from day-to-day banking transactions such as money transfers and bill payments, demands complex services such as remote account opening and subscription to new products.

The GCC region looks promising for digital banking solutions

GCC offers immense potential for institutions ready to rethink the way they do business. Internet banking in the GCC is relatively untapped, and hence upcoming fintech companies with a solid plan have a chance to make the most.

In developed markets, online banking is growing at an average of 10% per year for more than a decade. This trend is helping banks in reducing costs, enhance response times, and offer quality services while assisting customers to save time.

On the other hand, the GCC is still naive in this genre. Only one-third of GCC customers have signed up for online banking services. Given the above data, elements such as user profiles and demographics of the region indicate that online banking has a promising future here.

Signing Out

A deeper understanding of online banking in the GCC is a subject that will require expert intervention to get holistic insights.

On the contrary, the increasing adoption rate of digital banking services in the GCC since the pandemic holds immense potential to grow in this genre.

GCC being a cluster of six countries with a less than 20% online banking penetration, financial institutions and fintech need to take the region seriously.

Additionally, the growing internet usage in the region and a changing consumer profile, changing online behavior, and fewer branches are a few things that describe why GCC consumers prefer online banking services.

To know more about digital transformation across industries, find our latest professional whitepapers on digital banking.