Bank ABC used AWS to launch its mobile-only, cloud-first bank, ila Bank. The bank focuses on speed, simplicity, and delivering a seamless banking experience. Bank ABC runs the core banking platform for ila Bank and its payments service, among other systems, on AWS.
Sael Al Waary, Deputy Group CEO of Bank ABCWith AWS, we have the scalable environment that facilitates agility and the continuous addition of innovative services that support transformation across different geographies and business lines.”
The Bank in Your Pocket
Bahrain-based Bank ABC has been providing wholesale and retail financial services for more than 40 years, which means it has had to adapt to serve changing consumer needs. The bank saw an opportunity for a mobile-only offering with simplified banking services and an effortless experience.
Customers can sign up to the new bank—ila Bank—in a few minutes and instantly get a virtual debit card that lives on their phone. They can use one card for multiple accounts in foreign currencies and transfer money between them instantly.
The bank also features a human-like artificial intelligence–based digital assistant that supports customers by answering common questions about the Bank.
“ila Bank has seen tremendous success in Bahrain since its launch in November 2019,” says Sael Al Waary, deputy group chief executive officer of Bank ABC. “This is just the beginning of our journey, and as we gather more insights from our customers, ila will evolve to respond to their emerging needs and aspirations. With AWS, we have the scalable environment that facilitates agility and the continuous addition of innovative services that support transformation across different geographies and business lines.”
The Cloud Is a Natural Home for a Digital Bank
To bring ila Bank and its new services to market, Bank ABC needed to do things differently. “We wanted to use DevOps methodologies to speed up developments and releases,” says Dr. Yousif Almas, group chief innovation officer at Bank ABC. “The cloud was the ideal host for that. We also saw ila Bank as a way to accelerate cloud adoption across the group.”
ila Bank is the first digital business at Bank ABC to be built with a cloud-first strategy. Security was another priority, and executives at the bank were confident that using Amazon Web Services (AWS) would help them comply with the regulations of the Central Bank of Bahrain, which has published the region’s first regulations for running banking workloads in the cloud.
Building a Culture of Innovation
Over the course of 2018 and 2019, the bank used AWS to deploy a core banking system for ila, as well as payment and API management systems as examples.
According to Dr. Almas, the cloud helps to accelerate digital innovation. “Our ila Bank teams are at a significant advantage with cloud and hence can be more agile.” he says. “They can release new features faster and manage infrastructure, availability, and scalability in a more efficient way.”
About Bank ABC
Founded in Bahrain in 1980, Bank ABC provides wholesale and retail financial services to customers throughout the Middle East and North Africa, as well as Europe, Asia, and the Americas.
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