Author: Dr. Hussein Said, CEO and Managing Director, Jordan Islamic Bank
July 12, 2022
It is certainly the mark of a successful bank when it not only continues to provide service to its customers in difficult times, but actually improves the quality of the offer. Now in its fifth decade of business in the Hashemite Kingdom located at the crossroads of Asia, Africa and Europe, the Jordan Islamic Bank has done just that during the pandemic.
Despite the difficulties, the group successfully completed a digital transformation program that introduced a whole new range of electronic banking services as well as a variety of other innovations. The hugely popular “Islami Mobile” and other Islami-branded products have taken several additional steps with services such as electronic banking accounts, self-check-in capability, the ability to review recent transactions in a variety of formats, enhanced payments, instant money transfers through an app called CliQ, a JoMoPay-branded e-wallet, and bill payment, among many other conveniences.
In this way, Jordan Islamic Bank has grown during COVID-19 and the bank continues to strengthen digital services to keep pace with the latest developments that meet the needs of its customers in accordance with the provisions and principles of Islamic Sharia. . As these services grew, so did the reach of the bank. Paid-up capital stands at $282.1 million, an important statistic reflecting the strength of the institution. The number of active accounts reached 1,146,000, marking impressive penetration in a country of 10.3 million people. The number of employees has grown to 2,439. And the total number of shareholders is approaching 11,000, with the share register bolstered by some of the leading figures in Jordanian business and Arab national institutions.
A dominant track
Today, JIB, as the institution is commonly known, ranks first among Islamic banks in the country and fourth among all Jordanian banks for assets, deposits, financing and investment.
In a busy 2020, the ATM network grew from 266 to 288 as the bank rolled them out across the kingdom. Simultaneously, the number of machines that accept cash deposits, as opposed to just issuing cash, was increased to a total of 67. And to help protect customers against the pandemic, JIB has been gradually replacing ATMs existing ones with technologically superior machines that accept contactless cards, a service in which the bank has pioneered.
The bank continues to strengthen digital services to keep up with the latest developments
Customers can pay for everyday purchases and make cash deposits and withdrawals that accept the service without having to touch the card reader or ATM. The transaction is done easily and securely under a predetermined maximum limit to reduce any risk.
While improving the services available in its physical branches, JIB has also advanced its digital branch, a flagship project based on the latest financial technologies. Today, it is possible to do almost everything thanks to the digital branch. Services range from electronic account opening, instant debit card issuance, cash withdrawal and deposit, money transfers, mobile banking applications, customer’s contact information and, if the customer needs assistance, it is even possible to solve all problems via video call with highly trained staff. In other user-friendly initiatives, a tool called “My Finances” allows customers to easily check the status of their finances while “My Cards” allows them to track all transactions and limits.
As JIB’s performance throughout the pandemic demonstrates, the management team follows a hands-on, relentlessly customer-focused approach. The website illustrates this approach. Written in jargon-free language, it presents the bank’s services in a very accessible way.
The bank’s president is Musa Abdel-Aziz Mohammad Shihadeh, who served as chief executive for 37 years before taking over as head of the board. He holds an MBA from the University of San Francisco and a Bachelor of Commerce. As chairman or board member of a wide variety of companies involved in industry, commerce, investment, education and insurance, he has his finger on the pulse of the economy. national.
The management and the board adhere to the founding values of the institution. Namely, to meet the economic and social needs of citizens in the areas of banking, finance and investment in accordance with the principles of Islamic Shariah.
Thus, transactions and contracts are subject to the supervision of a sharia council composed of specialized academics who guarantee the integrity of all transactions. Underlining JIB’s commitment to Sharia principles and practices, the branding was revamped about 18 months ago, with the word Islami prefixing the names of its electronic channels. Last year’s achievements are a continuation of the momentum acquired in 2020. The ‘Islami Mobile’ application, a renewed website, self-service kiosks, dedicated ATMs and a interpreting for customers with disabilities: all were launched in 2020 to implement the bank’s digital system. transformation strategy.
Spoiled for choice
The range of personal services is exceptionally diverse. A complete portfolio of Mastercard and Visa bank cards is issued including, in the case of the Mastercard brand, standard, titanium, gold, Al Baraka (blessing) and prepaid family. And helping to direct customers to these tools through digital electronic channels, JIB runs a rewards program called “My Points” under the Islami brand for local and international purchases.
Similarly, a customer loyalty initiative offers shoppers direct cash back when they use any of the bank’s cards at authorized merchants and stores.
Some of JIB’s most interesting products are what you might call lifestyle services. To marry? The Zafafi package covers wedding expenses such as venue rental and financing furniture and other essentials for the home, even the honeymoon. Make renovations?
Another package funds construction work and salaries through the formula Ijarah, a word that literally translates to “give something in rent”. As these products show, flexibility is one of the bank’s watchwords. For example, it accepts Jordanian dinar and foreign currency deposits in a wide range of accounts – current, sight, joint investment portfolios and savings.
Reflection of a national culture
True to its founding principles, the bank’s activities uniquely reflect the national culture. The available funds are invested according to Islamic modes of financing, for example mudarabah, musharakah and ijara mawsufa, among others. Variously, these proceeds fund education, medical care, annual pilgrimages to Mecca known as Hajj and Umrah, and the installation of renewable energy for individuals and businesses. Other business-oriented packages facilitate direct equity investment and the purchase or rental of real estate. JIB’s al musawamah card is an installment product fully compliant with the provisions of Islamic Shariah. The holder uses the card at an authorized merchant and the payment is made from the customer’s account without any profit margin. The limit is renewed by the amount of the monthly payment, thus avoiding any debt.
While JIB manages a comprehensive portfolio of retail products, it has not overlooked the corporate sector. Among other popular services, it issues instant money transfers via Western Union, rents safe deposit boxes, provides letters of guarantee and letters of credit, and buys and sells currencies on spot. The bank also acts as a broker on the Amman Stock Exchange through a subsidiary Sanabel Alkhair for Financial Investments, which buys and sells stocks, investment certificates and other paper transactions on behalf of companies.
Overall, the business portfolio adds to an unusually wide range of financial services that encompass just about every element of the Jordanian economy. There are funding programs for professionals, artisans and SMEs operating in sectors such as health, energy, environment, education and training, occupational safety and health, religious studies and related activities in culture, arts and literature.
Help those in need
The bank fulfills its social and sustainability responsibilities through a charitable program funded by donations and other forms of support. We proudly fulfill our duty to customers and the community at large. Among the many beneficiaries of the bank’s generosity are people with special needs, disadvantaged groups and the poor. The Blind Card is only one concrete expression of this commitment. Delivered to visually impaired people, it is part of JIB’s financial inclusion policy for all groups in society.
Unsurprisingly given its commitment to its customers, the bank has received numerous international awards, having been rated “Best Islamic Bank in Jordan” and “Best Islamic Financial Institution” for many years by various international publications and institutions. The Levant region has a long and proud banking history which Jordan Islamic Bank hopes to continue contributing to for many years to come.