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Arab banks face threat from deregulation and the Internet

25 July 2001  |  2689 views  |  0 Arab banks face threat from deregulation and the Internet

Banks in the Arab states in the Middle East and North Africa face the erosion of their market share if they do not implement e-banking in the face of deregulation and growth in the Internet, according to a report from e-payments outfit Alaric International.

According to the study, conducted by Pyramid Research, Internet banking registration among Arab banks' customers is growing and will continue to rise rapidly, along with Internet penetration in the region.

Mike Alford, Alaric's managing director, says: "The challenge for Arab banks which do not currently have Web or wireless banking delivery channels is to implement a solution as rapidly as possible.

"The alternative is to risk losing market share to multinational companies as competition increases due to deregulation and as use of the Internet continues to grow."

Fourteen per cent of Internet users in the eight Arab countries where click and mortar e-banking is an option are now registered to bank online - the equivalent number in the USA is 17%, a figure that is already matched or exceeded by three Arab countries.

Despite this, only 18 of the top 100 Arab banks currently offer e-banking services.

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