AFS and Ahli United Bank Partner to Offer Innovative Acquiring Solutions in Bahrain
October 29, 2018
29 October 2018 – Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
Arab Financial Services (AFS), the leading payment solutions provider and FinTech enabler in the Middle East and Africa region, and Ahli United Bank (AUB), the leading regional banking group, have signed a strategic partnership agreement whereby AFS will provide innovative merchant acquiring solutions to AUB. As part of this partnership, AFS will introduce world class payment acceptance solutions to the market. This will be enabled through state-of-the-art Android POS devices that support international and domestic payment schemes and FinTech payment options including contactless cards, NFC, QR and bwallet.
At the agreement signing ceremony, AFS Chairman Mr. Sael Al Waary commented: “The launch of AFS’ merchant acquiring business represents an important milestone as we bring market-leading technology to the Bahrain market. This is yet another strategic move for AFS as we commit to delivering on our vision of becoming the partner of choice for innovative payments and FinTech solutions in the region. AUB is a valued client of AFS, for many years, and this partnership further strengthens our longstanding ties. The new solutions will bring innovative products and services for both customers and merchants. AFS has always been leading the market with technological innovations and these new solutions are industry firsts in Bahrain.”
AFS will launch the latest Android POS devices to the market, over the coming months, giving merchants and customers access to state-of-the-art tools for payment that can easily integrate with merchant’s existing platforms. This is alongside the various support and value-added services that AFS will provide AUB. AFS’ merchant acquiring services to AUB will include end-to-end platform, settlement and reconciliation, eCommerce and integrated POS devices that support contactless cards, NFC, QR, bwallet and other forms of payment acceptance. This will be AFS’ first acquiring activity within the Kingdom of Bahrain; its merchant acquiring business has also been rolled out in the Sultanate of Oman.
Abdulla Al-Raeesi, Deputy Group CEO-Retail Banking, AUB, commented: “We are pleased to partner with AFS, a key payment solutions provider in Bahrain and the region at large. As a well-established acquirer in Bahrain, AUB is committed to delivering innovative and tailor made solutions, designed to enhance customers’ experience by providing integrated end-to-end banking solution to our clients. This partnership will enable AUB to provide unique and latest in payment processing technology to our merchants, which will help make card transactions simpler, smarter and even more convenient for customers. This initiative is part of our ‘go smart, go digital’ strategy, which aims not only at expanding our range of digitally offered products and services, but also at ensuring that these are backed by a robust technical infrastructure and a proactive support from our teams of subject matter experts.”
Abdulla Al-Raeesi further added “This is in line with the national objective of increasing the quantum of e-payments & e-services by promoting cashless payment transactions in a variety of sectors with a substantial improvement in operational efficiency. We are confident that that this partnership will further enable us to further grow our market share in the acquiring business on account of new enhanced technology platform coupled with various value added services / benefits to merchants and card holders in Bahrain. Some of the key features of the acquiring solution includes Integrated multilane solution for hypermarkets, Dynamic Currency Convertor, e-commerce/payment gateway with real time monitoring to list a few. ”
AFS Chief Executive Officer Mr. B Chandrasekhar said, “AFS’ partnership with AUB is part of our greater efforts to further develop the region’s future financial landscape. We are delighted to partner with a leading bank such as AUB, supplying them, their merchants and end-users, with the technologies that are shaping the future of payments acceptance. AFS is dedicated to investing in the development of cutting-edge payments and FinTech infrastructure and products to provide innovative solutions for our partners and their customers. This is an exciting journey that we are embarking on and yet another step by AFS to support the Kingdom’s vision of becoming a digital economy.”
With more than 30 years of experience, AFS serves over 75 clients across the financial sector in more than 21 countries. AFS is owned by 39 banks and financial institutions and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain. The company offers innovative and end-to-end payment services and solutions that span card processing, merchant acquiring, FinTech and a state-of-the-art value-added services suite. AFS has introduced significantly disruptive and cutting edge FinTech solutions in recent years: In 2018, AFS introduced bwallet to the region - the first mobile wallet facilitating peer-to-peer and cashless transactions. Today, bwallet has established itself as the market leader with a significant user and merchant footprint across the Kingdom of Bahrain. EasyPay was another first from AFS - Bahrain’s first NFC payment service allowing payments with a tap of the mobile. Other innovations rolled out by AFS have been electronic KYC, Peer-to-Peer (P2P), Peer-to-Merchant (P2M), QR enabled payments, Tokenization, Remittance, WPS and Digital Banking solutions.