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Essential resources for banking executives:Enter ‘Banking Reinvented’

Ila Bank: Creating value to successfully scale-up

Attracting new and loyal customers isn’t as simple as it sounds. While some banks increase their marketing spend in hopes of getting the numbers they need, others are focused on creating a more engaging and valuable experience. ila Bank gives us some insights into what worked for its business.

by Backbase


Making sure the customer is at the forefront of all parts of your bank can be challenging. Backbase CEO, Jouk Pleiter recently explored the impressive success of one of our customers, ila Bank. The digital, mobile-only bank in Bahrain is showing impressive growth and has really focused on creating a valuable financial hub for its customers that offers a highly personalized experience.

Value leads to increased banking success

Value is undoubtedly something all banks are striving to achieve. Without it, customers will likely turn to another financial institution where they can get what they want.
One year ago, ila Bank went live with their new digital offering – reaching 4.5 times all of their commercial and business KPI’s.

ila Bank CEO, Mohamed Almaraj revealed in the CXO LinkedIn Live talks, “I am very proud of the team because I think really what is behind all of the IT, and all of the tech, the app, and the developments are a team of people, including our partners, that spent sleepless nights, in the beginning, to really drive the app and the engagement.”

He added, “It’s about making sure that your service is something that people can get value from.”

From idea to execution, hear top tips from ila Bank CEO on how to successfully launch a digital bank.

Ila’s continuing success story is a great example of how working with the right technology partners and having a passionate team can really drive improved value for customers and ultimately lead to a more engaged and loyal customer base.

Changing the way you engage with customers

Moving into the engagement banking era, it’s clear that financial institutions need to improve their relationship with the customer.

For instance, Almaraj said that in the beginning, ila Bank was one of the first to really change the way engagement was being done. The bank steered towards making the company a place of open communication so the customers felt like they were listened to and had a voice – whether via social media or marketing efforts.

Improving your bank’s engagement is crucial to not only attract new customers, but to also keep your current ones happy. At the end of the day, if customers feel like they can easily contact their bank for help or advice and feel up to date with any news from their financial provider, they will be satisfied and stay loyal.

Becoming customer-centric is key to scaling up

Although marketing efforts are important, according to Almaraj, you’ll never scale up your customer numbers just by driving marketing spend.

The main driver for success when it comes to scaling up your business and attracting new customers is really about creating a customer-centric offering, which is apparent in the case of ila Bank.

Making sure you’re constantly checking in with your customers to know what their needs are is one way to improve your customer-focused offerings. It’s also important to consider what interests them, what they value, and what drives them to bank with you.

For ila Bank, telling a story that related to the people of Bahrain and creating a tailored experience was imperative in improving their growth.

“Having been on this journey since the beginning is a very proud and surreal moment because that’s what we wanted to do,” Almaraj said.

“We wanted to create something that was going to be built here, accepted in this culture, and then launched regionally.”

Overall, banks should make sure they are focused on the customer and continue learning about them. In doing so, the bank will receive some much-needed guidance into what they can improve to create a better, engaging, personalized experience.