Dubai – MENA Herald: Four UAE-based organisations were awarded for their latest product and industry innovations at the recent Prepaid Summit: Middle East& Africa Awards in Dubai.
GHQ of the UAE Armed Forces National Bank of Abu Dhabi was recognised for the Digital Corporate/Government Prepaid Initiative of the Year, with Dubai’s Majid Al Futtaim Finance collecting the award for Leading Prepaid Retailer of the Year. Meanwhile, Al Fardan Exchange was awarded for Prepaid Mobile App of the Year and Emirates NBD completed the set taking the award for Prepaid Security/Anti-Fraud Programme.
Regional players ranked high at the ceremony as the award for Prepaid Innovation of the Year was picked up by Blom Bank, the Lebanon headquartered bank, recognised for their world’s first Visa prepaid re-loadable card, dubbed the UberBLOM.
Other regional players also played a huge part in this year’s awards with three wins. Riyad Bank’s Virtual card was awarded Best Customer Proposition of the Year, whilst NBK’s Shabab Card collected the award for Prepaid Marketing Campaign of the Year. A Special Recognition Award was given to Al Rajhi Bank for their Al Fursan prepaid card.
The one-day summit attracted over 120 delegates who discussed the opportunities that the latest prepaid market innovations had to offer. The event programme included keynote sessions by industry leaders and practical case studies from successful banks across the MEA region.
The day’s forum was followed by an awards ceremony that recognised prepaid sector developments across MEA over the past 12 months with specific selection criteria for each individual award.
Paul McCrea, Visa’s Head of Products for Central & Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “In the five years since they were first presented, the Prepaid Cards Awards Middle East and Africa have been recognised as an authoritative representation of excellence within the industry. The awards ceremony is a celebration of the next-generation technology in the prepaid card industry in the region, and we at Visa are delighted to be a part of it.”
Commenting on the emerging trends in prepaid card usage, McCrea from Visa added: “We have witnessed strong growth in the adoption of prepaid cards with more and more cardholders switching to electronic payments. In the GCC region, prepaid cards witnessed total volume growth of 24 per cent in 2015 compared with 2014, while eCommerce volume jumped 37 percent.
“Visa has been committed to leading the development of new prepaid payment technologies through a variety of programs, including partnerships with the UAE Armed Forces (GHQ) and NBAD to launch a reloadable prepaid program aimed at displacing cash payments at UAE embassies across the globe.”
He explained further that other such programs included the Riyad Bank Visa Virtual Prepaid card and the National Bank of Kuwait (NBK) Shabab Visa Prepaid Card.

“Innovations such as these are particularly significant since the increasing adoption of prepaid modes of payment plays a key role in the Middle East and Africa region’s objective of becoming one of the first cashless societies in the world.”
The conference and awards were sponsored by Visa, Global Technology Partners, i2c and ebankIT. Al Fardan Exchange, Blom Bank, Chams Mobile Kegow, Emaar Gift Card, Majid Al Futtaim Finance, GHQ of the UAE Armed Forces National Bank of Abu Dhabi and National Bank of Kuwait also supported the event as Table Hosts for the evening’s awards.
Full list of awards and winners:
Prepaid Innovation of the Year

Blom Bank – Uber Card

Best Customer Proposition of the Year

Riyad Bank – Virtual Card

Prepaid Marketing Campaign of the Year

National Bank of Kuwait – Shabab Card

Open-Loop Prepaid Card Programme of the Year

The Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) – Multicurrency Travel Card & BIT Bank- QuiQ Prepaid Cards

Gift/Loyalty Card Open and Closed-Loop Programme of the Year

BIT Bank- QuiQ Prepaid Cards

Financial Inclusion Programme of the Year

Bankmed, SAL – Prepaid for United Nations Relief and Works Agency

Digital Corporate/ Government Prepaid Initiative of the Year

GHQ of the UAE Armed Forces National Bank of Abu Dhabi

Customer Facing Prepaid Technology Programme of the Year

Boubyan Bank – Virtual Prepaid Card

Leading Prepaid Retailer of the Year

Majid Al Futtaim Finance

Prepaid Mobile App of the Year

Al Fardan Exchange

Mobile Wallet of the Year

Chams Mobile Kegow & Skye Bank

Prepaid Security/Anti-Fraud Programme of the Year

Emirates NBD

Prepaid Service Provider of the Year

Global Technology Partners

Special Mention

Al Rajhi Bank – Al Fursan Prepaid Card