Al Salam Bank-Bahrain and AFS offering “Al Rateb” – the first cashless payment service in the Kingdom for blue collar workers
April 3, 2019
3 April 2019 - Manama, Kingdom of Bahrain
Al Salam Bank-Bahrain (ASBB), the pioneering Shari’a-compliant bank in the Kingdom and Arab Financial Services (AFS), the region’s leading FinTech enabler and payment services provider, have welcomed a Government Decree that forces companies to pay workers digitally, instead of in cash.
Anticipating this move, Al Salam Bank-Bahrain and AFS had already rolled out the Kingdom’s first digital payroll solution, Al Rateb for the unbanked community. It is a convenient and simple wage protection system that enables employers to pay wages digitally to those of their employees who do not have a bank account.
The service allows employers to securely upload wages and benefits onto payroll cards through an online portal which is configured with their own payroll system. Cardholders can withdraw funds at any ATM and can also use Point of Sale terminals locally or abroad. Cardholders can also access financial services including statements, interactive dashboards, 24/7 customer care and multi-lingual customer support.
Employers will save significant time and money as Al Rateb helps to improve employers’ internal efficiencies and operations via innovative technology integrations that further streamline payroll calculation, administration and disbursement processes, making it easier, faster and more accurate. Additionally, cardholders can use their cards in all ASBB ATMs for free and use their cards for cash withdrawal through the dedicated Al Rateb mobile ATM van which regularly moves between various locations or through the Benefit ATM network in the Kingdom. Al Rateb cards also offer a remittance solution at competitive FOREX rates to many destinations including but not limited to India, Pakistan, Philippines, Nepal, Bangladesh, Egypt and Sri Lanka.
Mr. Anwar Murad, Deputy CEO of ASBB said: “I am delighted that the Shura Council has taken this important initiative, in line with Al Rateb proposition, giving unbanked workers a secure access to their wages, bundled with withdrawals and remittance solutions. The Bank’s forward approach underlines the commitment we give to our stakeholders in line with our policy of giving the best offering to the community and our valued customers. As of date, we are pleased to announce that Al Rateb has, since inception, attracted a substantial interest and is currently servicing over 3,000 customers.”
Mr. B Chandrasekhar, CEO of AFS, said: “AFS’ strategic collaboration with Al Salam Bank-Bahrain to embed innovative technologies in the Kingdom’s financial landscape is boosting Bahrain’s transition to a cashless economy and is bringing us closer to 100 per cent financial inclusion. There is a significant number of unbanked workers in Bahrain and Al Rateb was designed specifically for employers to bring these people into the financial community. As the region’s leading FinTech enabler we are proud to support the development of financial inclusion and efficiency, in line with the Government’s greater vision.”
Thousands of workers already have their wages paid through Al Rateb and corporate enrolment in the solution is steadily increasing. With the new Decree every employer in Bahrain must now pay their workforce digitally and Al Rateb solution is available to all employers, regardless of their workforce size.