“Despite adverse consequences of the Covid-19 pandemic, we learned many lessons about the importance of adapting to change, coping with crises, having different attitudes to risk and redesigning priorities. Most importantly, we learned that digital transformation is not a choice, but a must”, said Acting Group CEO at Kuwait Finance House (KFH), AbdulWahab Essa Al-Rushood.
He added on Global Finance Magazine-Kuwait Country Report, that during the past two years, KFH learned that what matters most for businesses is to offer customers uninterrupted services under all circumstances. This is possible through having a stronger digital presence with adaptive systems and multiple channels both physical and virtual, along with rigid controls to defend the interests of both customers and shareholders.
Al-Rushood pointed out that the Kuwaiti banking sector is underpinned by a strong economy, exceptionally high levels of wealth and substantial hydrocarbon reserves. Despite the challenging operating environment resulting from the oil price shock triggered by the pandemic, Kuwait’s banks fared relatively well throughout the last crisis.
He added that thanks to the adopted monetary policy and the strong and prudent regulation of the banking sector by the Central Bank of Kuwait, the Kuwaiti banking sector remains resilient with stable profitability and unaffected asset quality during the fluctuations experienced by the country's macro economy.
Al-Rushood indicated that among other strengths is the innovation the banking sector embraced during the past years as evidenced by the digital transformation that played a great role in supporting the banks during the pandemic.
He explained that digital transformation in Kuwait is in line with its 2035 vision. The pandemic has also accelerated the efforts towards digitizing several government services and launching applications that offer a plethora of solutions such as Sahel app that offers integrated online government services where users can complete procedures at the push of a button.
He added that digital transformation is at the heart of the Kuwaiti banking sector and will play a greater role in shaping its landscape in the future. The pressures of digital transformation imposed on traditional banking model in Kuwait and all over the world have increased, so adopting an agile approach is no longer an option, but a must. By adopting agile systems, banks can meet the increased needs of digitization and facilitate this digital transformation.
Al-Rushood said “At KFH, we were able to implement these practices with several services being built upon such agile methods. For example, KFH introduced over the past few years a wide range of high-end digital services. It also teamed up with financial services technology providers who offer unique solutions and expertise, with the aim of expanding and enhancing the range of products and services. Soon, RPA (Robotic Process Automation) and AI (Artificial Intelligence) will become part of our banking operational flow and efficiency enhancements.”