The National Bank of Abu Dhabi’s (NBAD) payroll solution, Ratibi Card, which provides financial services to around 500,000 workers in the UAE currently, has been selected by international organizations and academic institutions as a successful model to extend banking products to the unbanked segment of society.
The ICAEW (Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales) identified NBAD’s Ratibi Card as case of success to be studied by accountants, and students of Harvard University and American University of Dubai (AUD). The ICAEW, which aims to create awareness of sustainability and social entrepreneurship among accountants, called the Ratibi Card ‘an inspiration’.
“The Ratibi card is a great example of an innovative idea that helps thousands of people to better manage their finances” said Peter Beynon, Regional Director, ICAEW, Middle East. “Through this initiative, NBAD is bringing simple and secure banking to people who would not otherwise be able to afford it, and ICAEW salutes their achievement.”
To model the success of the Ratibi card as a tool to bring banking to the unbanked population, ICAEW organised, with NBAD’s contribution, the Ratibi Card Case Study in which Harvard and AUD students analysed the challenges and solutions to bank the unbanked segment of society. Their study concluded by learning about the success of NBAD Ratibi card.
“It is a great honour that prestigious international organisations and academic institutions have recognised that the Ratibi Card is truly an example of shared value which addresses a social issue through a business solution. It delivers a a much needed service by bringing banking services to a segment of society that would otherwise have no access to it,” said Ahmed AlNaqbi, the Head of Strategic Business Ventures and Innovation at NBAD.
NBAD’s Ratibi Card, offered to nearly 500,000 people, allowsemployers to credit their employees’ salaries of up to AED 4,999 a month on a card, which provides the employees the benefits of a MasterCard card usable at millions of ATMs and merchants worldwide.
Moreover, NBAD offers life insurance to the cardholders of up to five times their salary. The life insurance provides coverage to the card holders and their family in case of death or accident. NBAD is the first and only bank to provide life insurance coverage to under-banked consumers at no cost to them.
“Ratibi Card has allowed workers to have access to their funds throughout the world. Its real service is that it has allowed a segment who may never have had the chance to a bank account, learn and experience the benefits of having one,” Mr. AlNaqbi said.“In addition to providing them worldwide access to their money, the Ratibi Card has added the security of life insurance coverage to a segment of society that greatly needed this service. This is especially important because many of them work in jobs that are vulnerable to accidents.”
The Harvard and AUD students who participated in Ratibi Case Study presented their studies, which included challenges and proposed solutions to extend banking services to the unbanked.
NBAD, which encourages and promotes initiatives that expand banking benefits to the unbanked, awarded three iPads to students whose work was judged quality by organisers.