Revealed: UAE residents prefer Islamic banking products over conventional banks – News

‘The shift to online and mobile banking is indeed permanent,’ says senior official

Posted: Sun, Nov 21, 2021, 1:01 PM

The popularity of Islamic banking is increasing among UAE residents and has reached almost the same level as conventional banking this year, according to the annual survey released by Emirates Islamic Bank on Sunday.

The results revealed that the penetration between Islamic and conventional banking products in the UAE has reduced to just 1%. Up to 61 percent of residents said they had a conventional product compared to 60 percent who had an Islamic product.


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Islamic banking has been gaining popularity in the UAE since 2015, from 47% in 2015 to 60% in 2021. Conventional banking is on a downward trend over the same period, from 70% to 61%.

Islamic banking products such as auto finance and savings accounts are more popular than products from conventional banks, while personal finance products are equally popular for both segments of the banking industry. In comparison, conventional banks remain in the lead for credit cards and checking account products. The products of Sharia-compliant lenders are understandably very popular among Muslims in 2021, with the popularity of conventional banks increasing from 59% in 2020 to 54% in 2021, while the penetration of Islamic banking products has increased by two percentage points. percentage from 69 to 71%. hundred.

Among non-Muslims, the penetration of Islamic banking products increased by 5 percentage points to reach 45% in 2021, underscoring the growing appeal of Islamic banking services to the wider population.

Almost half – 48% – of UAE residents who took part in the survey said they preferred Islamic banks more since the start of the pandemic, up from 45% in 2020.

“For the first time since we launched the index in 2015, we are seeing a narrowing of the gap between the adoption of Islamic and conventional banking products – it is clear that consumers are increasingly choosing solutions that comply with Sharia law on financing and savings. This bodes well for Islamic banks as they continue to be viewed as more financially sound, trustworthy and supportive of their communities than conventional banks, which are all factors that will inspire long-term loyalty. customers and clients, ”said Wasim Saifi, Deputy Managing Director of Consumer Banking and Wealth Management at Emirates Islamic.

“As the shift to digital banking continues to grow, we can confidently say that the shift to online and mobile banking is indeed permanent. Clearly this is an area that needs to be strengthened much more if Islamic banking is to overtake conventional banking Customer experience is another area that needs to be prioritized to broaden the base of Islamic banking and truly closing the adoption gap, ”said Farid Al Mulla, deputy director of consumer banking and wealth management at Emirates Islamic.

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