Gulf International opens online-only bank in Bahrain

Gulf International opens online-only bank in Bahrain

Gulf International Bank has opened a digital-only Shariah-compliant bank in Bahrain.

Dubbed meem, the digital retail banking services arm of GIB was initially launched in Saudi Arabia in 2015.

The arrival of meem in the bank's home market comes just two months after the Bahraini Government and the region's Central Bank endorsed a new fintech hub in a 10,000 square metre space overlooking the waters of Bahrain Bay and the Arabian Gulf.

Central bank governor Rasheed Al Maraj, says: “We are pleased to see meem digital banking begin its operations in Bahrain. The launch underlines the Central Bank of Bahrain’s ongoing commitment and success in attracting fint specialists to the Kingdom and strengthening the country’s fintech ecosystem.”

The app-based online-only bank offers digital onboarding via documents scanning, automated data extraction and validation, face recognition and video-chat.

Meem's One Pack current and savings account comes with a debit card capable of linking to multiple foreign currency accounts.

Other products such as online Murabaha term deposits, credit cards, and personal finance will be added in due course, says Mohammed Al Garni, GIB group head of retail banking,

“We aim to provide a personal service to our customers, making it easy for them to manage their money efficiently," he says. "We would like our customers to think of meem as ‘The smart digital Bank at the tip of their fingers.”

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