Dubai Islamic Bank, the world’s first Islamic bank – last week joined the Roshan Digital Account (RDA) initiative of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in a ceremony with Governor SBP, Dr. Reza Baqir, as the Chief Guest. Headquartered in Dubai, Dubai Islamic Bank (DIB) has the distinction of being the largest Islamic bank in the UAE market and the second largest in the world by assets, which reflects its global strength. DIB has a global presence across seven countries (UAE, Pakistan, Kenya, Indonesia, Turkey, Sudan & Bosnia).
Roshan Digital Account has shown impressive results in the short period of five months since it was launched to digitally connect Overseas Pakistanis with Pakistan’s banking and payments system. Over $550 million in remittances has already been generated and over 90,000 accounts opened, and the momentum has been rising in the last few months.
Addressing the ceremony through video, Governor SBP Dr. Reza Baqir congratulated the management of DIB for becoming the 10th bank to partner with the SBP in offering RDA for the Pakistani diaspora. He lauded the many contributions of Non-Resident Pakistanis (NRP)for the country and added that the RDA is a manifestation of the vision of Prime Minister Imran Khan to make the Pakistani diaspora an integral part of Pakistan’s economy by connecting them to the country’s financial system. He highlighted three key recent refinements to RDA that have been made in light of feedback received from NRPs. These include: (1) introducing Naya Pakistan Certificates (NPCs) in euro and British pound, in addition to the existing Pakistani rupee and US-dollar denominated certificates; (2) changes by federal government in relevant laws allowing the tax paid at source on profits on investments in NPCs, shares, mutual funds, and property to be full and final; and (3) substantially reducing the cost of transferring funds internationally to and from RDA accounts from $40-60 to $5-9 for most transactions. Towards the end of his address, Dr. Baqir expressed his hope that DIB would help RDA achieve even bigger milestones in the future and that its contribution would be even larger than the banks that joined the initiative earlier.
In his address, Deputy Governor SBP Dr. Murtaza Syed appreciated the efforts put in by DIB for successfully joining RDA. Dr. Syed threw light on the salient features of RDA, explaining that it provides digital access to all conventional banking services including funds transfer, bills and fee payments, and e-commerce as well as attractive investment opportunities in the stock market, property and government bonds. He said that RDA enables investment by Non-resident Pakistanis in NPCs issued by the Government of Pakistan at very attractive risk free rates and in both conventional and Shariah-compliant forms. Moreover, funds available in the account can be remitted back from Pakistan without any approval from banks or SBP. Elaborating on the RDA journey, the Deputy Governor emphasized that a key ingredient of success has been to ensure that customer’s experience is par excellence. He expressed the hope that DIB would ensure a class-experience for its customers from the very beginning, and inject even greater momentum into the RDA initiative by capitalizing on its key advantages in the UAE market and within the Islamic Banking industry.
Speaking on the occasion Mr. Junaid Ahmed CEO, Dubai Islamic Bank stated: “Dubai Islamic Bank – world’s first Islamic bank and a global franchise — is operating in Pakistan since 2006 with presence across seven countries will soon become a major player for RDA. Our existing customer base of over 200,000 in UAE gives us an all important advantage to capture the potential for Roshan Digital Accounts. Moreover, our Non Resident Pakistanis working in Dubai Islamic Bank UAE will also benefit from this product. Our focus is on a seamless experience and prompt response time for the customers.”
Dubai Islamic Bank has also engaged the services of legendary cricketer Mohsin Hasan Khan as its brand ambassador for RDA. Mohsin Hasan Khan has the distinction of being the first among only two Asians to score a double century at cricket’s headquarters at Lords and is our national asset.
Offering a wide range of product features along with investment opportunities for NRPs through Islamic Naya Pakistan Investment Certificates and access to capital markets through CDC, Roshan Digital Account is one of the key Digital Banking initiatives being rolled out by Dubai Islamic Bank this year.