In the Middle East, banks are starting to build solutions in order to offer “banking as a service” or “payments as a service” and FinTechs can provide a helping hand.
How has the global pandemic affected product development?
The banking industry was focusing on moving customers to use more digital channels and the pandemic accelerated the growth of those E-Channels utilisation. We saw cheque volumes plummet and clients rushing to activate their online banking channels.
How are companies dealing with seeing digital banking as a necessity rather than an option?
Companies suddenly saw their payments come to a standstill as countries entered a lock-down, in some cases authorised signatories were stuck in other countries. Companies struggled to get a single payment physically signed by several authorisers. Companies started to realise that online banking channels were far more efficient that paper-based instructions.
Where do you see the future of FinTech-bank cooperation?
FinTechs are far more nibble and can drive automation and customisation for their segment of clients. In the world of API’s, the ability to integrate with them potentially saves a considerable amount of time and allows the bank to focus on ensuring its connectivity with the clearing system. In the Middle East several FinTechs are still using the banking payment rails in order to service their (FinTech’s) customers. In addition to this FinTechs in the corporate space are still in a nascent stage and the banking partner add a level of trust and credibility to the FinTechs. Banks are starting to build solutions in order to offer “banking as a service” or “payments as a service”.
Sameer Nemazie is a Director within the Transaction Bank and manages the Cash product for Standard Chartered Bank for branches in Bahrain, Oman, Qatar, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Sameer has oversight of the region’s product proposition including the development and enhancement of Standard Chartered Cash Management services and offering tailored solution for Standard Chartered customers in the region. In addition to managing Standard Chartered regional products, he also manages the regulatory requirements and interfaces with the regulators, central banks and the payments arms of the central bank. He is part the Africa and Middle Cash product team and supports clients booking into the Middle East. Prior to joining the Cash product team in 2016, Sameer worked as a product manager in Working capital support both Cash and Trade requirements along with managing regulatory projects for the region. Before moving to the Middle East Sameer had various roles in Operations and Strategy where he helped drive operational efficiency for the bank. Sameer has been with the Standard Chartered Bank group for 19 years. Sameer Nemazie holds a Bachelor and master’s in economics from Loyola college in Chennai, India.