Bahrain-based Arab Financial Services (AFS) has signed an agreement with Visa Inc. to offer global refund and assistance services to Visa Travellers Cheque customers and acceptors.
Shankar Sharma, CEO, AFS said that the company is already offering the refund service to Visa customers worldwide, coordinated from the purpose-built call centre located in the Kingdom.
He said that AFS was awarded the contract following a global pitch to Visa. The service facility has already moved to Bahrain following a ten-month migration exercise.
"The relationship with Visa is a clear demonstration of our capabilities and strengths in providing world-class outsourcing services from Bahrain," he stated.
Jonathan Reynolds, Senior Business Leader, Visa added: "AFS brings highly skilled team members and major cost efficiencies to the table. We are very confident that Visa Travellers Cheque customers and acceptors will receive excellent support from AFS's staff."
AFS expects to handle thousands of calls per annum from Visa customers across the globe. This call centre routes the largest network of international toll free numbers into the facility.
"Our alliance also paves the way for Bahrain, and subsequently Middle East, to play a big part in enhancing the Visa customer service, on a global scale," said Sharma.
He added: "Our outsourcing service and capabilities are open to other companies who are looking for cost-effective and world-class service standards."
Market trends indicate that businesses are increasingly taking the outsourcing route so they can leverage the advantages of flexibility, immediate cost savings and future growth support.
Sharma said that AFS pioneered the concept of outsourcing card processing in the region and was the first to set up an end-to-end state-of-the-art card-outsourcing environment in Bahrain. AFS is presently the leading payment card processor in the Middle East and North Africa region.
He shared that worldwide the banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) sector accounts for a significant percentage of outsourcing business, second only to Telecommunications.
"Our current partnership with Visa means that AFS steps out of the Middle East and is ready to scale up globally," he concluded.