Saudi Arabia has launched an online banking service, in order to meet international standards in today’s technology oriented banking sector.
The kingdom’s banks are facing fierce local and intenational competition and unless modern online services are introduces, it is expecetd that rival banks may be able to draw Saudi customers while operating from abroad.
ANB was the first to introduce online banking in Saudi Arabia earlier this year. National Commercial Bank (NCB) was second in line, and most other banks plan to launch similar services by year-end.
Internet services in Saudi Arabia, the region's largest economy, were introduced only a year ago — therefore it is no surprise that e-banking is merely in its diapers. The country’s population however is relatively computer-literate particularly the young generation who has grown up in the computer age.
Internet banking, although a challenging task for Saudi banks, is a vital means of conserving a costomer base by providing much-required online services. Bankers fear however, that since Internet is still new to the kingdom, lack of awareness and online security problems may deter some people from transferring to online banking.
The Saudi government and the Saudi Arabian monetary agency (central bank) are working to establish regulations to specifically deal with Internet banking.
All considered, the longer it takes Saudi banks to launch Internet services, the harder it will be for them to keep heads above water alongside international competitors. — (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2000 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )