BENEFIT KICKS OFF ANNUAL FINTECH INTERNSHIP PROGRAM ‘MASAR’

BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions service, officially kicks off its Annual FinTech Internship Program “Masar” in its first edition, in collaboration with the Supreme Council for Women (SCW).

This year, 11 university students and recent graduates are enrolled in the program segmented into 3 learning paths including Data services, Payment services and Corporate Support. On the first day, students completed an in-depth orientation program with various workshops delivered by BENEFIT with a key focus on AML Financial Crime, Information & Cybersecurity, Financial Literacy and more.

Salah Al Awadhi, Head of Human Resources & Administration commented on the initiative, “BENEFIT is thrilled once again to kick off our annual internship program; Masar. We are also pleased to cooperate with the SCW to enable the participating students to receive hands-on experience in a multi-vertical financial ecosystem that is quite complex and ever-evolving. Educational opportunities and initiatives such as these provide them a stepping stone into the industry as they shadow leaders in the space and gain the confidence to create innovative solutions. As BENEFIT, we take pride in our youth and will continue to build robust mentoring and educational programs to further contribute to the Kingdom’s thriving financial sector.”

He added: “The tailored program will conclude with a final project in which students are challenged to submit their most unique concept in order to win a trophy for the ‘Best innovative idea in FinTech’. The pitched innovative idea must streamline existing processes, simplify and lower costs of operations, generate a new income line for the company and add value to society.”

Masar’s goal is to empower and upskill Bahrain’s youth to participate in the Kingdom’s thriving FinTech sector and generate future solutions. The internship provides Bahraini university students and recent graduates an opportunity to shadow industry experts, acquire foundational skills and practical knowledge, and collaborate to develop innovative FinTech solutions, through their introduction to the financial technology ecosystem.

 

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In Collaboration with the Supreme Council for Women

BENEFIT LAUNCHES FINTECH INTERNSHIP PROGRAM ‘MASAR’ TO UPSKILL AND EMPOWER BAHRAINI YOUTH

BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions service, announces launching its Annual FinTech Internship Program “Masar” in its first edition, in collaboration with the Supreme Council for Women (SCW),  to empower and upskill Bahrain’s female youth to participate in the Kingdom’s thriving FinTech sector and generate future solutions. The personalized internship experience will allow Bahraini university students and recent graduates to learn from industry experts, acquire foundational skills and practical knowledge, and learn to collaborate to develop innovative FinTech solutions, through their introduction to the financial technology ecosystem

On this occasion, Ms. Hala Al-Ansari, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Women, praised the program, which is organized in cooperation with BENEFIT Company, as an important tool to increase the participation of Bahraini women in the field of financial technology in the Kingdom. The program seeks to bridge the gaps between education and the labor market to create promising opportunities and enhance the capabilities of the future generation, especially with the economy heading towards digital transformation through the expansion of digital technology and financial technology sectors.

Mr. Abdulwahed AlJanahi, Chief Executive of BENEFIT, commented on the initiative, “We invite exceptional undergraduates and recent graduates with relevant study experience and passion for the financial industry and financial technology to participate in our unrivaled internship program and create a positive societal impact via their fundamental learnings. With a strategic focus on supporting students, fresh graduates, the corporate community, and future fintech entrepreneurs, we will dominate with success and favorably influence the quick evolving and increasingly significant fintech-driven market sectors across the Kingdom, all while empowering women in the FinTech space.”

He added, “We want Bahrain’s youth to be adaptable, innovative and disruptive in a constantly changing world. Programs such as these will foster just that by creating avenues to those that want to push the boundaries and contribute to advancing their communities.”

The FinTech Internship Program ‘Masar’ will kick off with an in-depth orientation program, which will include workshops that will highlight BENEFIT’s ecosystem and diverse services, and insights into crucial topics such as AML Financial Crime, Information & Cybersecurity, Financial Literacy and more. Furthermore, the program will provide opportunities for candidates to work in various departments at BENEFIT, with on the job training that will be split into three paths including Data services, Payment services and Corporate Support.

The tailored program will conclude with a final project in which students are challenged to submit their most unique concept in order to win a trophy for the ‘Best innovative idea in FinTech’. The pitched innovative idea must streamline existing processes, simplify and lower costs of operations, generate a new income line for the company and add value to society

All interested candidates are welcome to apply on BENEFIT’s website on benefit.bh/masar/. Candidates must be fluent in both Arabic and English, and will be screened to ensure they fulfill the eligibility requirements.

 

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BENEFIT ORGANIZED IDENTIFICATION AND VERIFICATION SERVICE WORKSHOPS FOR Financial Institutions

Advanced service for identification and verification solution as part of BENEFIT’s digitalization agenda

BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions service delivered 2 workshops in their premise and 1 virtual workshop introducing their Identity and Verification services to 48 financial institutions in the Kingdom.

 

Representatives from 48 financial institutions attended the sessions, where they learned about the competitive features and capabilities of the solutions. The identification and verification service recognizes all GCC IDs and passports from all nationalities to validate client identity against a liveness check, allowing for faster and more seamless customer onboarding.

 

Capitalizing on the latest facial recognition technology, BENEFIT’s solutions are supported by cutting-edge biometrics technology to provide its new identification and verification solution. The system  maintains stringent security standards, which are suitable for safeguarding sensitive processes such as remote financial transactions.

 

With the surging demand for digital onboarding and to facilitate virtual banks and fintech firms, the identification and verification solution is offered as part of BENEFIT’s digitalization agenda, and will facilitate remote client onboarding to various services, as well as digital services, resulting in improved customer experience.

 

Latifa Al Mutawa Head-Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau at BENEFIT, commented on the initiative, “Banks, Money Changers, Insurance companies, Investment firms, Payment service providers FinTech firms, and  all other financial institutions face a similar challenge when it comes to providing consumers with more digital services at a time when cyber criminals are increasing their techniques and intensity. In light of this rising threat, BENEFIT’s technology plays a critical role in keeping people and data secure.”

 

“With the maturation of facial recognition, especially with the introduction of liveness checks, it is now a necessity in the biometrics realm and BENEFIT is leveraging on this and strengthening our role in the FinTech space. We are proud to add value to our innovative solutions and make a significant contribution to an enhanced customer experience, as we have consistently done.

 

This initiative is consistent with BENEFIT’s track record of delivering market-leading solutions. To emphasize this, it is worth noting that BENEFIT also provides the national eKYC service and the credit bureau service, which when integrated together results in straight through processing and an improved customer experience” She added

 

It is worth noting that the Identity and Verification service by Benefit is offered with highly competitive features to fit all financial institutions needs

 

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BENEFIT HOSTS DELEGATION FROM BRUNEI TO PRESENT INSTANT PAYMENT INFRASTRUCTURE

BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions service, hosted a delegation from Brunei last month to get acquainted with BENEFIT’s successful payment infrastructure framework.

BENEFIT presented their core features and implementation method, including key success factors and challenges, when it comes to instant payments to Brunei’s delegation. This is in line with their announcement earlier this year to develop an instant payment infrastructure to enhance the commercial and socio-economic benefit of the country.

BENEFIT’s payment infrastructure is considered to be one of the most advanced and leading modules globally, hence, the delegation aims to further provide an enabling environment by sharing key success strategies implemented by BENEFIT over the years.

Shafaq Alkooheji, Head of Payment Services, BENEFIT commented, “We have always played a pioneering role when it comes to digitizing our payment infrastructure in the Kingdom and the MENA region. Our success needs to be shared with other players in the region so that we can build enabling ecosystems everywhere. It was a pleasure hosting representatives from Brunei in Bahrain, and sharing our successful case studies with its challenges and to also shed light on insights that can simplify their payment journey as well. We are happy to support and contribute to Brunei’s Digital Payment Roadmap and look forward to witnessing innovation regionally and globally.”

Due to BENEFIT’s dominant presence in the MENA FinTech market, the company has hosted several knowledge exchange sessions and delegations to pave the way for other players in the region.

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BENEFIT AND iGA EXPLORE JOINT DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION INITIATIVES

BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions service, hosted a meeting with the Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) to discuss opportunities to further enhance advanced technology deployment in Bahrain. The discussion between iGA Chief Executive, Mohammed Ali Al Qaed and BENEFIT Chief Executive, Abdulwahed AlJanahi outlined the objectives of the high-level partnership.

“Achieving the digital transformation objectives of Bahrain’s Economic Vision 2030 is vital to the Kingdom’s future and we are honored to play a role in this national journey,” said Mr. AlJanahi. “As the driver of Bahrain’s digital economy, the iGA provides comprehensive and accessible government services to help the public and private sectors function more efficiently. BENEFIT recognizes the importance of ICT management and governance, blockchain, AI, and cloud computing in creating new frontiers for economic growth and innovation, and  is optimistic about the opportunities for collaboration with the iGA.”

Mr. Al Qaed said: “This meeting was in line with the iGA’s objectives to support decision making, creativity, and innovation in both the private and public sectors. BENEFIT is a key partner in Bahrain’s digital transformation journey; our ongoing collaboration will allow us to leverage BENEFIT’s advanced infrastructure in providing a comprehensive range of public services that meet the needs of beneficiaries. We look forward to identifying further opportunities for cooperation between our two organizations.”

Several successful projects have been implemented as part of the collaboration between BENEFIT and the iGA, including the national eKYC platform and the Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau service, available via the National Portal, bahrain.bh.

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WITH THE AIM OF KNOWLEDGE EXCHANGE

BAHRAIN CREDIT REFERENCE BUREAU HOSTS A DELEGATION FROM OMAN CREDIT BUREAU ‘MALAA’

 

Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau hosted and welcomed the Oman Credit Bureau Malaa in June for an in-depth one-week knowledge exchange session at BENEFIT’s headquarters. The visit shed light on Bahrain Credit Bureau’s journey, and their role to aggregate comprehensive credit information for the Kingdom of Bahrain.

 

As part of the knowledge session agenda, the BCRB highlighted their diverse products and services offered by BENEFIT, demonstrated the operational process of handling BCRB BENEFIT members, and introduced the various credit bureau tools offered for individuals and corporations. Additionally, BCRB also explored meaningful data conveying significant data.

 

The meeting was a follow up from Oman Credit Bureau Malaa management’s earlier visit to Bahrain in March 2022 to explore the Credit Bureau journey in the Kingdom. Malaa’s representatives were particularly impressed by the successful in-house development of the system and reporting structure, and hence wanted to expose the Mala’a team to benefit from the excellent progress BENEFIT has completed.

 

Latifa Al Mutawa, Head of Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau (BCRB) commented, “We were pleased to have the Oman Credit Bureau Malaa visit our premises and get an in-depth overview of how we operate. As an established player in the financial industry, we have a responsibility to share the blueprint of our success to push the collective vision of the MENA region. We all play a major role in improving the financial environment and enhancing financial inclusion. Hence, knowledge exchange sessions and collaboration led visits such as these further push this agenda and get us closer to our overarching goal. We are looking forward to integrating with Oman Credit Bureau to exchange corporate credit information”

 

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BENEFIT WINS PRESTIGIOUS AWARD IN THE TRANSORM AWARDS FOR BEST VISUAL IDENTITY FROM THE FINANCIAL SERVICES SECTOR

BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions service, has been awarded the Bronze Award for the “Best visual identity from the financial service sector” for 2022 in the Transform Awards Middle East and Africa (MEA).

The Best Visual Identity award recognizes the brand’s developed identity, from its visual components and the corporate values and essence. The award recognizes BENEFIT’s ongoing creative and strategic approach in brand communications and visual identity, which embraces the company’s vision to shape the future of society through innovative digital solutions.

BENEFIT unveiled their new brand in November last year, after 24 years of developing cutting-edge business and lifestyle solutions in the Kingdom. BENEFIT’s new brand narrative ‘Pulse of Bahrain’ builds on the company’s success story in the Kingdom and the MEA region within the financial technology domain.

This award is consistent with BENEFIT’s mission of empowering and energizing individuals, institutions, and society to embrace new opportunities. Furthermore, it validates the company’s determined vision of shaping society’s future through innovative digital solutions. Furthermore, BENEFIT’s brand visual and experiential elements focused on the company’s core values including simplicity, creativity, empowerment, and responsibility.

In its ninth iteration, the Transform Awards globally recognizes best practice in corporate, product and global brand development work, with categories that focus on strategy, execution, content and evaluation. It is the only awards program awarding the best brand work in the Middle East and Africa and provides an important platform to benchmark and showcase the fantastic work being done in the region.

BENEFIT’s AGM Marketing & Innovation Mr. Nezar Maroof comments “This achievement is yet another key milestone. The prestigious award highlights BENEFIT’s dedicated marketing and innovative efforts towards exceling the brand. This achievement reflects not only BENEFIT, but also the Kingdom of Bahrain and what we stand for. Through several awards and accolades received, BENEFIT’s track record as the Kingdom’s leader in financial transactions has been bolstered, and it is always an honor to be recognized for our contributions to the digital revolution”.

Last year, BENEFIT won several awards and accolades reflecting their permanence and clear vision for who they are. Last year, the company received the eGovernment Excellence Award 2021 for ‘The Best Application for the Smart Devices Award, the ‘Smart Finance Award’ for the BenefitPay Application, and the ‘Best Digital Wallet (BenefitPay App)’ award for 2021 by the Pan Finance Awards.

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‘SIMAH’ and ‘BENEFIT’ Launch Electronic Exchange of Credit Information

 

 

The Saudi Credit Bureau (SIMAH) and BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions service, announced the initiation of the Electronic Exchange of Credit Information project between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the Kingdom of Bahrain.

The announcement comes as a result of the Supreme Council of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) decision at the Council’s meeting in its 37th session of the year 2016,  which approved the exchange of credit information between the GCC states. This is in accordance with a comprehensive framework and plan outlining the mechanism to facilitate this exchange among the GCC states.

The project aims to enhance transparency for financial transactions at the GCC level, and provide financial tools to reduce credit risks associated with financial transactions of all economic activities. The initiative promotes the growth of these activities, and improves the quality of financial intermediation in the Gulf, which increases the level of economic growth in general.

His Excellency Mr. Rasheed bin Mohammed Al Maraj, Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), stressed the importance of this initiative, which is in line with the collective vision and royal directives to develop and enhance commercial transactions and economic performance in both countries.

Furthermore, the initiative provides decision-making support processes for commercial relations and partnerships integrated with an advanced information system and audited data provided by the authorities handling credit information reports, which boosts confidence and transparency to unlock new opportunities for mutual business.

On his part, His Excellency, Dr Fahd bin Abdullah Al Mubarak, Governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), explained that the purpose of this initiative is to achieve the objectives of the financial sector agenda in line with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by launching strategic projects that enhance cooperation frameworks between the GCC countries, opening up greater investment opportunities and channels to  ensure stability and economic growth of those countries.

HE Dr Al Mubarak further stated that the financial industry relies on such strategic initiatives in hopes of increasing the level of transparency in financial transactions, resulting in enhanced company performance in accordance with the shared goals of the GCC countries.

Mr. Abdulwahed AlJanahi, Chief Executive of BENEFIT, expressed his gratitude to the leadership of both countries, and praised the rigorous efforts of the Central Bank of Bahrain and SAMA which contributed to the success of this monumental achievement. The initiative will play a key role in fostering trade exchange and advancing GCC economies as a whole.

Furthermore, Mr. AlJanahi stated that the Bahrain Credit Reference Bureau, operated by BENEFIT, is working to complete the link with the rest of the GCC nations in collaboration with the central banks and relevant authorities and institutions in the GCC countries.

For his part, Mr. Swaied Al Zahrani, Chief Executive Officer of SIMAH, expressed his gratitude and appreciation to the supervisory authorities in both countries for their continuous support in achieving the project’s objectives and facilitating procedures and policies.

Additionally, Mr. Al Zahrani praised the steps taken by the GCC countries towards expanding cooperation frameworks in many strategic and development projects to advance all economic aspects of the member states. He emphasised the permanence of SIMAH’s pursuit to establish local, regional and international partnerships which contribute to achieving collective goals, and keep pace with the developments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

The initiative was implemented to strengthen the role of the credit information industry, and serve as  a crucial pillar for control and supervision, boosting transparency, and contributing to the stability of the GCC nations’ financial sectors. Through this project, the supervisory authorities seek to spread more transparency, learn about the solvency of the business sector, and embody credit behaviours, while ensuring the protection and security of data exchanged and transmitted through the network of e-government centres for the GCC countries, an essential element to protect such data and information from the risks associated with it.

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BENEFIT RECEIVES ISO 27001 ACCREDITATION

– BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions service, has become one of the first institutions to obtain the ISO 27001 certificate, the international standard for managing information security.

The BENEFIT Company has been accredited with the ISO 27001 certification for information security management system (ISMS) in recognition of BENEFIT’s ongoing efforts to fully secure all information assets.

ISO 27001 has become the international standard for managing information security, as it enables organizations to manage the security of assets such as financial information, intellectual property, employee details or information entrusted by third parties. ISO 27001 Standard is recognized worldwide as an indication that the ISMS is aligned with information security best practices, and BENEFIT has applied the ISO 27001 standards to all sectors of the company without exception.

BENEFIT’s Head of Information Security & Risk Management, Mr. Ali Beshara commented on this achievement, “Security is at the forefront of every action we take. At BENEFIT, we recognize the significance of data and understand that data protection is of paramount importance. Achieving ISO 27001 certification is an outstanding achievement that reflects our team’s consistent efforts to establish secure guidelines and protocols in every layer of our business.

 

He added, “Achieving this certification comes at a critical time where the marketplace has heightened sensitivity to cyber threats, and we will continue to meet these standards to better serve our consumers. This is a testament to BENEFIT’s commitment to go above and beyond when it comes to security.”

 

This achievement is yet another key milestone. BENEFIT recognizes the significance of data protection and responding to evolving security threats. BENEFIT continues to invest in the management of information security.

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BENEFIT HOLDS ANNUAL GENERAL AND EXTRAORDINARY GENERAL MEETING 2022

The Group has reported a net profit for the financial year ended on December 31st 2021 with a net profit of BD 715 Thousands for the group.

 

BENEFIT, the Kingdom’s innovator and leading company in Fintech and electronic financial transactions services held its Annual General and Extraordinary General Meeting earlier this week, held at Benefit Company’s head office in Seef District, Bahrain.

The Group has reported a net profit for the financial year ended on December 31st 2021 with a net profit of BD 715,497 for the group comparing to 1,434,096 in 2020.

In addition to the company’s financial performance, BENEFIT announced a massive increase of online payment transactions in 2021. Over 159 million payments were made through the Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS) increasing by 164% with the total value exceeding 20 billion Bahraini Dinars for the year 2021 in comparison to 16 billion Bahraini dinars in 2020, which is an increase of 26%

During 2021, BENEFIT’s main focus was on major announcements of new services which included the launch of the e-Cheque service, obtaining a license for trust services and e-signature from the TRA and the remittance service for BenefitPay customers.

During the meeting, BENEFIT held a discussion on the approval for the Corporate Governance report and compliance for the year ended 31st December 2021 per the requirements of the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Ministry of Industry, Commerce & Tourism. Furthermore, the annual meeting discussed the Appointment and election of ten Directors and one CBB Observer for the term of three years starting from February 2022- until March 2025.

 

Chairman of BENEFIT; Mr. Mohamed Ebrahim Albastaki stated, “I would like to welcome the new board members and express my appreciation to the previous members for their remarkable contribution. 2021 was a tremendous year for BENEFIT.  We became the first entity to operate MENA’s first national electronic cheque system, and also obtained a license for trust services and e-signature from the TRA. A big milestone also included the remittance service that provided a solution for a very important target segment in Bahrain.

He further added, “Not to mention, that after 24 years, we have revealed a new brand visual identity, serving as a testimony to BENEFIT’s energizing pulse across the community. Our commitment to the Kingdom and the MENA region was reflected through the several prestigious local and international awards we received last year. I would like to once again, thank the Central Bank of Bahrain, our shareholders, and esteemed partners; and financial institutions, for their support throughout our journey to ensure our success for the overall ecosystem. Most importantly, I would like to thank our team who has carried this vision forward a step further every year.

Chief Executive of BENEFIT;  Abdulwahed AlJanahi in his statement to shareholders, “In 2021, BENEFIT introduced several new solutions in partnership with several stakeholders and entities bringing forth a new era of payments to serve the major communities in the Kingdom. Our efforts have won BENEFIT several prominent local and international awards including the e-Government Excellence Award 2021 and the Best Smart Application Award 2021 and others. We will continue to build on this success and continue to provide innovative solutions demanded by our customers in diverse sectors. Our success is owed to our partners and stakeholders, alongside our team to further position Bahrain as a prime FinTech visionary in the MENA region.”

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