Emirates NBD ties up with Amazon Web Services to build a bank of the future

The Dubai lender will use AI, data analytics, image recognition and machine learning to improve the customer experience

Amazon Web Services log is seen at Bahrain Technology Week, after AWS announced the opening of Data Centres in Bahrain by early 2019, in Manama, Bahrain, September 26, 2017. REUTERS/Hamad I Mohammed
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Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest lender by assets, has joined forces with Amazon Web Services to offer a more personalised banking experience to users by leveraging the latest technologies.

The bank will use AWS’ artificial intelligence, data analytics, Internet of Things, image recognition and machine learning capabilities to simplify its customer services.

“We look forward to use AWS’ technologies and innovation practices to make banking more easy and intuitive for our customers,” said Suvo Sarkar, senior executive vice president and group head - retail banking and wealth management - at Emirates NBD.

Lenders in the Arabian Gulf, especially in the UAE, are focused on harnessing technology to gain an edge in a fiercely competitive banking market.

UAE financial institutions such as Emirates NBD and Mashreq Bank are investing in digitising their operations to reduce their physical footprint. While Mashreq Bank will spend at least Dh500 million over the next five years on digitisation as it looks to close half of its branches in the UAE this year, Emirates NBD is spending more than Dh1 billion on new technology.

Seattle-based AWS said in 2017 it will open at least three data centres in Bahrain to serve customers across the Middle East region. This will help organisations speed up their digital transformation initiatives and innovate more rapidly for the citizens of the region, the company said.

To focus more on the Middle East market, last month AWS added Arabic language support to Amazon Polly - a service that turns simple text into lifelike-sounding speech. Emirates NBD is using Amazon Polly in its automated call centre to improve customer interactions by delivering natural voice banking experiences.

“Companies are using machine learning in their businesses and AWS offers the broadest portfolio of machine learning services to help them solve some of their biggest challenges,” said Andy Isherwood, managing director of AWS at Europe, Middle East and Africa.