Home Case Studies Alinma Bank Evolving with consumers in a digital-first economy 
Alinma Bank’s notable paradigm shift to remain the financial services provider of choice in a changing consumer landscape that demands digital-first services
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Rapidly changing consumer habits, especially among the youthful population, demand hyper-personalized, mobile-first financial services. This means higher engagement and informed financial insights. To meet these needs, Alinma Bank has innovated at scale.

With the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia progressing toward its Vision 2030 initiative, the country is in a state of prosperity and continued growth—it was the fastest-growing G20 economy in 2022, with an annual growth rate of 8.7%. Like all fast-developing nations, the increased purchasing power enjoyed by the populace has led to changing consumer habits. In line with global trends, the expectations of the Kingdom’s youthful population on how they interact with service providers in critical sectors such as financial services are rapidly shifting. Saudi consumers are seeking consistent and convenient hyper-personalized experiences to enhance satisfaction in their digital financial journeys. Mobile first experiences that are powerful and easy to use—all from one place—are of paramount importance. Additionally, many consumers insist on higher engagement levels from their financial institutions. They are more open to receiving insights from their financial footprints to help nourish their financial health and help them manage their money better.

This seismic shift has placed immense pressure on banks and other financial services providers to understand their consumers better, and to continually offer products and services relevant to their needs. Embracing innovation at scale, while remaining Shariah-compliant and secure, has become a business imperative for banks if they are to remain competitive and relevant in an increasingly digital-first economy.

For Mohammad Hamoda, Digital Channels Advisor, and the digital channels team at Alinma Bank, the Best Islamic Bank in 2023, time was of the essence if they were to steer the bank through the tides of changing consumer tastes and achieve optimal customer satisfaction. After studying the shifts in the financial services industry, the team concluded that building a banking super-app would align with both consumer needs and Alinma’s overall business direction.

3x faster time to market with IBM Cloud Pak for Integration 2x faster delivery of common services with the new super-app
Traditionally, the bank took a siloed approach by delivering mobile apps targeted at meeting the needs of our verticals. By keeping our ear to the ground and listening to our customers, we understood that shifting from single- to multi-purpose apps was a business imperative. Zohair Alsharif DGM, Head of Creation & Enablement Alinma Bank
Seamless cloud integration

The team hit the ground running and worked with haste to remake the Alinma App (link resides outside of ibm.com) into a multipurpose super-app that consolidates services, features and functions of multiple mobile apps into a single app for customers and employees to use.  

As customer tastes, expectations and habits were evolving, Alinma Bank, as a forward-thinking organization, knew it had to leverage embedded and open finance models on the Alinma App. This would allow the bank to distribute its services efficiently, become a digital ecosystem orchestrator, and reach customers wherever they are.

To help safely navigate this new terrain, Alinma Bank turned to IBM, its trusted, long-term digital transformation partner that assisted in improving the bank’s B2B onboarding processes and digital transformation strategies. The bank relied on IBM solutions such as IBM Cloud Pak® for Integration, IBM® WebSphere® Liberty, IBM Cloud® Transformation Advisor and Red Hat® OpenShift® (link resides outside of ibm.com) to help achieve economies of scale, enhance system stability and drive superior customer-centric experiences.

“After we discussed the changing financial landscape in the Middle East, together with the bank’s Strategy 2025 initiative and vision for the super-app with the IBM team, they understood our objectives and ambitions,” says Yasser AlOufi, Chief Information Officer at Alinma Bank. “They recommended hybrid cloud and AI solutions such as Cloud Pak for Integration and WebSphere Liberty to securely transform our core systems to integrate with new cloud-native technologies."

Alinma Bank utilized the IBM Cloud® Transformation Advisor solution to assess and modernize existing legacy API channels and monolith applications to take advantage of cloud-native features. The bank leveraged IBM Cloud Pak for Integration to manage and integrate internal and external APIs of the mobile app. IBM WebSphere Liberty was utilised to accelerate the delivery of the super-app as a cloud-native application and Red Hat OpenShift to deploy the app and manage its lifecycle.

Seamless multi-service integration

Building the bank’s super-app architecture and housing it on IBM Cloud native solutions has helped the bank achieve both quantitative and qualitative positive results.

The app was successfully deployed on schedule and the digital channels team achieved two times faster time to market. The app has seamlessly integrated mobile and internet services, offering one multiservice layer that interacts with multiple channels. The app has also securely integrated with internal and external APIs, facilitating an efficient API-driven ecosystem of services that offer data visibility for personalized services and engaging customer experiences.

Customers are able to manage multiple accounts and investments, shop and pay bills, and receive tailored offers. This has also facilitated increased internal effiencies amongst employees. With the app’s automated features, Alinma Bank is now able to process financing and credit requests significantly faster than previously possible. This enables the bank to offer easily accessible and tailored financial solutions on the go—helping to maintain and grow its share of customer relationships.

“By hosting the super-app on tried and tested IBM cloud solutions such as Red Hat OpenShift, we are bringing new value to our customers by offering a mobile platform with speed, high performance and an easily navigatable interface, turning a financial services app into a lifestyle platform to meet your daily needs,” concludes AlOufi.

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About Alinma Bank

Based in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Alinma Bank (link resides outside of ibm.com) is the region’s epicenter for dynamic, innovative, Shariah-compliant banking and financial services, delivered with the speed and convenience customers require in their busy modern lives. Founded in 2006 by royal decree, Alinma Bank has a strong record of accomplishment in supporting the national economy and helping individuals and businesses pursue their goals and aspirations.

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