Al Hilal Bank has marked another world’s first with the launch of its latest pioneering payment solution, the ‘Qibla’ credit card. Developed in collaboration with MasterCard and InfoTec Systems, the new credit card incorporates a digital compass which at the press of a button locates the ‘Qibla’ direction, the direction a Muslim must face while performing Salah.
The innovative credit card was unveiled in the presence of H.H. Sheikh Nahyan Bin Mubarak Al Nahyan, the UAE’s Minister of Higher Education and Scientific Research, at an evening launch ceremony held yesterday (Monday, October 8, 2012) at Etihad Towers, Abu Dhabi. Mr. Mohamed Zaqout, Head of Personal Banking Group at Al Hilal Bank signed the exclusive product agreement with Mr. Eyad Al-Kourdi, MasterCard’s Vice President and Country Manager -UAE, and Mr. Houssam Khatib, CEO of Infotec Systems Group.
In addition to its unique feature of being a convenient prayer tool, Al Hilal Bank’s Qibla Card also offers a zero profit rate for up to 12 months for ‘Hajj’ and ‘Umrah’ travel.
Card holders can avail of many other benefits such as complimentary travel vouchers worth AED 500 for Hajj and Umrah travel packages, a zero profit rate for up to six months on travel, electronic, jewellery and other purchases, airport lounge access, travel and personal accident coverage, and purchase protection.
In keeping with Islamic tenets, Qibla card holders can also make meaningful contributions to the welfare of local communities. Customers can opt to round off their local retail transactions to the nearest multiples of AED 5, 10 or 100 and credit the rounded off amount to the Red Crescent UAE.
Marking yet another first, card holder will also be entitled to a zero profit rate for up to 12 months on balances transferred from conventional bank credit cards. This is intended to encourage more customers to shift to Islamic cards and help them pay off their high interest-bearing card balances from conventional credit cards.
“Our innovative Qibla credit card is yet another testament to our ability to constantly surprise our patrons with pioneering products and services that reflect our progressiveness as an Islamic bank. Our new offering enables cardholders to benefit from a rich array of exclusive benefits and special privileges. This card embodies Islamic banking at its best as envisioned by Al Hilal Bank,” said Mr. Mohamed Zaqout Head of Personal Banking Group, Al Hilal Bank.
Eyad Al-Kourdi, Vice President and Country Manager, UAE, MasterCard Worldwide, said, “The Al Hilal Bank Qibla MasterCard Credit Card reflects our capability to develop highly innovative and tailored payment solutions for consumers in the Middle East. MasterCard is honored to be associated with a financial institution that shares our passion for community welfare.”
“It was like a ‘Mission Impossible’ task when the bank approached us with the idea of having a compass built into a payment card that would indicate the Qibla direction from anywhere in the world. We are proud of our work with Al Hilal Bank and the confidence they have given us in bringing this innovative concept to life,” added Houssam Khatib, Infotec Systems Group CEO,