REVOLUTIONIZING THE CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE

Kuwait 2019 | FINANCE | INTERVIEW

KIB strives to become the leader in the banking industry by focusing on technological innovation, expanding its corporate banking arm, and building upon its rich history in the real estate sector.

Raed Jawad Bukhamseen
BIOGRAPHY
Raed Bukhamseen has over 20 years of experience in the banking, real estate, and investment sectors. He is Vice Chairman & CEO of Kuwait International Bank and Chairman of Arab Investment Company. Bukhamseen is a board member of several pioneering companies including Boursa Kuwait, Bukhamseen Group Holding Company, Warba Insurance Company, the Shared Electronic Banking Services Company (KNET), Egyptian Gulf Bank (Egypt), Layan Real Estate Company (Dubai), Souk Al-Salmiyah Real Estate Company, and Credit One Kuwait Holding Company. He earned a bachelor of business administration from Boston University. He has also pursued executive programs in investment and banking at some of the world’s most renowned institutions.

What specific strategies were employed this year to contribute to another successful year?

Customer expectations, technological capabilities, and regulatory requirements are ever-changing and continuously reshape the banking industry. To get ahead of these challenges, KIB's newly adopted strategy has not only propelled it to the forefront of the local banking industry, but has also transformed it for the future. With its forward-thinking strategy, KIB has continued to focus on three key pillars this year, namely: transforming retail offerings through technological innovation, expanding its corporate banking arm, and building upon its history in the real estate sector. These three pillars have already become central to the bank's banking operations, as it completed a number of pivotal changes within the organization, introduced several new banking offerings, and implemented many e-banking services, contributing to KIB's continued success and sustained growth.

How important is digitalization and e-banking services for KIB in maintaining its premier position in the Islamic banking industry?

The digital revolution has morphed from what some view as a threat to a mandatory survival strategy for financial institutions. The ever-increasing expectations of customers are the number-one catalyst for innovation. All industries are becoming more customer-focused, adapting constantly to what customers want. At the core of KIB's new strategic transformation lies its digital banking strategy. E-banking remains one of the most important milestones under the umbrella of this digital revolution. KIB embarked on a digital modernization strategy to redefine banking convenience for its clients, providing an easy-to-use interface that simplifies everyday banking. The bank has launched the region's first-of-its-kind multichannel contact center to revolutionize the KIB customer experience and improve service quality levels. Operating around the clock, the center includes an interactive voice response (IVR) portal and offers centralized monitoring, queuing, routing, and reporting solutions. KIB also launched an innovative visual IVR service in addition to its live chat service, which provides customers access to most of its services via a visual interface, rather than just a voice-activated self-service interface, thereby offering a better call experience.

How has KIB been able to capitalize on fintech partnerships, which are currently leading to accelerated industry evolution?

Collaboration between fintechs and banks is essential in order to advance processes and banking offerings. FinTech collaborations have already paved the way for more improved service offerings, technological innovation, and much more. By embracing technology, KIB has managed to offer more innovative solutions for its customers, thereby meeting the demands of more digitally savvy users. With the increasing speed of technological changes in the industry, KIB has more than kept up with the pace, recently introducing a range of innovative technologies across its business that have enabled the market leading bank to better connect with its customers through multiple channels, both online and mobile.

How does KIB give back to the local community, and why is CSR so important for KIB?

Social responsibility has always been on the top of KIB's priority list, underscoring its integral role as a partner in the community to which it belongs. The bank's new strategic direction also transformed its social responsibility program, making it a key component of its business strategy. Together with its leading position in the banking sector, KIB aims to positively impact the community to which it belongs. KIB actively seeks to cover a range of social concerns and issues. Accordingly, the bank has committed itself to investing in various social responsibility initiatives, which fall under four main pillars of its social responsibility program, namely: youth empowerment, social impact, community development, and promoting financial and banking literacy. As part of its commitment to investing in all kinds of social responsibility initiatives, KIB has also adopted a unique financial and banking literacy program. This first-of-its-kind program in Kuwait aims at enhancing financial and banking awareness amongst all segments of the community, particularly children and youth, as they are the nation's future.