SIB joins ‘haifin’ platform to combat fraud, support digital transformation - GulfToday

SIB joins ‘haifin’ platform to combat fraud, support digital transformation


Top officials during the signing ceremony in Sharjah.

In a move to enhance efforts to combat fraud and continue digital transformation plans in the banking sector, aligning with the digital goals of the United Arab Emirates, Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) announced its joining of the “haifin” platform alliance, becoming the fourteenth member, demonstrating its commitment to accelerating the collective banking sector efforts to improve risk management procedures and reinforce trust in lending practices.

By joining the “haifin” platform alliance, SIB emphasises the importance of mutual cooperation in combating challenges through the “haifin” digital trade platform, supported by blockchain technology and artificial intelligence from “e& Enterprise Fintech,” a subsidiary of e&, and is steadfastly expanding in adopting innovative practices and working to increase the level of security, transparency, and efficiency in its financial operations by verifying commercial financing deals in real-time and preventing potential fraud through duplicative transactions.

Hakam Abu Zarour, COO of Sharjah Islamic Bank, said: “Joining the haifin platform alliance aligns with our commitment to leverage technology to enhance risk management, as we strive to adopt the best technologies to deliver an unparalleled customer experience, considering it the optimal way to succeed in the bank’s growth plans and ensure their continuity.” Abu Zarour, also noted that as part of our long and medium-term strategy, the SIB invests significantly in acquiring new technologies in banking services for its corporate clients, aiming to provide neutral and safe services, recognizing the escalating pace of fraud threats facing the banking industry. Therefore, the haifin platform offers innovative collaborative solutions that bridge the gap in commercial financing and enhance trust in lending for our customers.”

On his part, Zulqarnain Javaid, the CEO of “haifin,” said: “We are thrilled to welcome Sharjah Islamic Bank to the haifin Consortium. Together, we are poised to drive meaningful change and propel digital innovation across the banking sector. They will make a meaningful contribution to the Consortium’s expansion while strengthening the security and transparency of the banking ecosystem by de-risking trade finance and driving digital solutions. He added that through collaboration and technology, haifin continues to pave the way for a digital future, setting global standards for secure and transparent financial transactions.”

Last month, Sharjah Islamic Bank (SIB) announced an increase in its net profit before tax by 22.5 per cent, amounting to Dhs285.4 million for the first quarter 2024, compared to Dhs233.1 million for the same period of the previous year, whereas, net profit after tax amounted Dhs259.7 million, an increase of 11.4 per cent.

The overall revenue increase is due to the SIB’s strong core performance; focus on the Bank’s customer-centric approach and multiple new high-profit-oriented customised products.

Total income on financing and investment products increased by 23.5 per cent, equivalent to an increase of Dhs163.5 million, to reach Dhs858.1 million for the first quarter of 2024, compared to Dhs694.6 million for the same period last year. Net fees, commissions and other income increased by 20.4 percent to reach Dhs136.7 million, compared to Dhs113.5 million for the same period in the previous year.

The general and administrative expenses amounted to Dhs174.3 million at the end of the first quarter of 2024, compared to Dhs156.1 million for the same period in 2023; a marginal increase of Dhs18.2 million but an improved cost-to-income ratio of 34.5 percent compared to 34.7 per cent for last year.

In the face of ongoing operational risks, the Bank increased its provisions by Dhs45.0 million for the three-month period ending 31st March, 2024, compared to Dhs94.7 million for the same period in 2023. The total assets of the Bank stood at Dhs70.1 billion, compared to Dhs65.9 billion at the year-end 2023, with an increase of Dhs4.2 billion or 6.4 per cent.

The SIB has continued to maintain strong liquidity, which amounted to Dhs15.3 billion, at a rate of 21.8 percent of the total assets, compared to Dhs13.7 billion, or 20.8 percent of the total assets at the end of the previous year.

In January this year, Sharjah Islamic Bank announced a strategic partnership with Noqodi, a leading financial technology company and payments gateway owned by Emaratech Group. This collaboration aims to significantly improve the digital and electronic payment offerings available to SIB’s corporate and individual business customers.

The agreement was signed at SIB headquarters by Hakam Abu Zarour, Chief Operating Officer of SIB, and Zahi Kallab, General Manager of Noqodi, in the presence of senior representatives from both organizations. Through this partnership, SIB’s business clients will gain access to a broader range of digital payment solutions for seamless fee payments across various services and products.



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