Dubai’s Mashreq Bank is at the forefront of the MENA region’s banking transformation. Global Finance Founder and Editorial Director Joseph Giarraputo speaks with Mashreq’s Joel Van Dusen, Group Head of Corporate & Investment Banking, Amith Rajan, Head of Advanced Analytics (CIBG & IBG) & Data, and Tarek Al Nahas, Group Head of International Banking, about the bank’s corporate banking innovation and international opportunities.
“Digital innovation has always been Mashreq’s DNA,” said Joel Van Dusen, Senior Executive Vice President and Mashreq’s Group Head of Corporate & Investment Banking. Leveraging the success of its digital consumer bank, Neo, Mashreq’s innovations for its corporate clients are transforming the traditional role of relationship management
Through its Wholesale Digital Innovation Lab, Mashreq has approximately 200 data scientists organized into “digital squads” that are focused on streamlining typical “pain points” for corporate clients, such as onboarding for accounts or trade license processing.
Mashreq’s digital squads are also developing new digital capabilities for corporate customers that have moved credit risk and trade finance functions to the cloud. “We are using API connectivity and streaming solutions on a very rapid basis to our clients in these ecosystems,” said Van Dusen.
Data analytics are the foundation of Mashreq’s digital innovation. “Data analytics is the new frontier: data is the new oil, and like oil it has to be refined before it can be used,” said Amith Rajan, Executive Vice President, Head of Advanced Analytics (CIBG & IBG) & Data. “Data analytics enable companies to use data to drive decision making to optimize and customize the customer experience.”
Mashreq is using AI and data analytics to drive hyper personalization for customers. For example, based on network analytics for shipping and trade data from across its global platform, the bank uses AI analytics for a wide range of risk management features, from identifying adverse media to early-warning fraud and anti-money laundering alerts.
“We are leading the industry in terms of real applications in the market for corporate banking customers,” said Rajan. Innovating the use of AI, blockchain and intelligent scanning to facilitate digital onboarding for customers, Mashreq is the only bank in the MENA region that allows large corporate customers to open accounts electronically using facial recognition.
Mashreq’s international banking is using digital innovation to leverage opportunities across its global network. “We are using internal and external data to capture end-to-end transaction journeys to make more informed decisions on where to invest and where to expand,” said Tarek Al Nahas, Senior Executive Vice President and Mashreq’s Group Head of International Banking.
For Mashreq’s international network, spanning from Hong Kong to New York, governance can present significant challenges. The bank is automating the regulatory reporting process to streamline local compliance and regulatory requirements, with a focus on strict regulatory requirements on data sharing. “Automation ensures that our regulatory reporting is always on time and accurate,’ said Al Nahas.