National Bank of Abu Dhabi rolls out m-payments service

Source: National Bank of Abu Dhabi

The National Bank of Abu Dhabi (NBAD) has rolled out the NBAD Arrow service, an SMS based payment service that allows customers to access their bank accounts via mobile phones to pay, send, and receive money 24 hours a day.

Luup, a world leader in the mobile payment industry, powers the NBAD Arrow Mobile Payment service.

NBAD account holders are now able to use the NBAD Arrow service to make a wide range of payments and money transfers instantly and securely from their mobile phones.

"As the UAE's number one bank, NBAD keeps up to speed with the latest banking technology to provide customers with a fast, secure, reliable and convenient banking experience," said Mr. Ahmed Al-Naqbi, Senior Manager, Channels and Electronic Banking Services at NBAD.

The NBAD Arrow services are the first in an 18-month roll-out plan agreed between NBAD and Luup which will extend to remittances, salary payouts, merchant payments and bill payments.

Mr. Thomas Bostrom Jorgensen, Luup CEO, congratulated NBAD on their latest customer service initiative. "Luup is now building a global Mobile Payment Network by partnering with leading banks and financial institutions around the world, with initial focus on the GCC and South Asia. In NBAD we have found a partner who shares our core values such as customer-focus and innovation" said Luup CEO.

In the first stage of the service roll-out, the Luup system will allow NBAD Arrow service users to make transfers from their NBAD bank account to anyone in the UAE using their mobile phones. If the receiver is also an NBAD Arrow service user, the money goes straight into their bank account, otherwise the amount can be withdrawn from any NBAD ATM within 24 hours by using a code received via SMS.

In addition, Arrow users can instantly pay utility bills to Etisalat, DEWA, ADWEA and other suppliers, as well as donate to charities like the UAE Red Crescent.

"The fact that we are the first bank in the region to roll out the Luup mobile payment system illustrates our progressive mentality in adopting global technologies and services to serve our customers even better. With a successful platform operating in Europe, Luup has the infrastructure, technology and business know-how that matched NBAD's criteria and needs," Mr. Al-Naqbi added.

"NBAD is a pioneer in the m-payments space because the bank's senior management realized early on that the existing payment systems lag behind the available technology. NBAD has received many prestigious awards for its innovative products and services. Last month, the bank won ACN Arab Technology Award for Banking & Finance project implementation and CIO of the year and one of the systems the jury especially lauded was our 'SMS Money Transfer' service," he added.

NBAD believes that in a world going increasingly mobile, payment mechanisms need to keep pace with people's lifestyle. Being able to pay bills, transfer money to family or top up mobile credits from anywhere at any time has become a necessity for large sections of society. This is especially true in the Middle East region where mobile phone penetration rates outstrip Internet penetration rates by far. In the UAE, for example, mobile penetration has exceeded 100 percent. Luup's mobile payment technology therefore provides a platform that is accessible to a huge segment of society.

"In 2003, the Luup group of companies was the first to be granted an e-money license, which we used for our operations in the European Union. Soon, we will be the first to connect customers of multiple banks, and allow them to send money directly from one account to the other using mobile phones. This is a huge advance for the industry, which, until now, has revolved around small-scale, local operations," Mr. Jorgensen added.

Luup's research and development team continues to push industry boundaries in order to create the most convenient, secure and cost-effective mobile payments service on the market. With this level of commitment from Luup, NBAD is confident that Arrow will enhance its customer satisfaction levels as well as revenue prospects.

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