U Bank, Raqami Islamic Digital Bank enter interoperable partnership

ISLAMABAD   -   U Microfinance Bank (U Bank) and Raqami Islamic Digital Retail Bank Ltd. (RIDBL) have entered into a strategic interoperable partnership to enable access to branch banking services to RIDBL customers through U Bank, marking a significant milestone in the digital banking landscape of Pakistan.

With this innovative collaboration, U Bank will extend the Shari’ah-compliant services of its extensive branch and branchless banking channels, including its network of 375+ brick-and-mortar branches nationwide to RIDBL, facilitating their digital banking clientele with seamless physical Cash In/Cash Out (CICO) transaction services and other branch banking facilities. This collaboration signifies the coming together of the traditional and digital banking worlds, opening a new era of accessibility and convenience for customers across Pakistan. The regulatory framework for digital banks, which was unveiled by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in January 2022, encourages such partnerships in a bid to maximize the utilization of brick-and-mortar infrastructure, with specific objectives to optimize financial access to the citizenry while driving down the cost of financial services for the end customer.  

The partnership was officiated in a recent ceremony held in Islamabad in the presence of Mohamed Essa Al Taheri, President & CEO -U Bank, and Umair Aijaz, CEO- RIDBL, as well as other members of both organizations. Mohamed Essa Al Taheri, President & CEO - U Bank, stated, “With this partnership with RIDBL, we are not only facilitating transactions for a wider segment of customers, but we are furthering our agenda of financial inclusion and economic empowerment in Pakistan. At U Bank, we believe in the power of collaboration to drive positive change and we look forward to leveraging our combined strengths with RIDBL to deliver unique financial solutions in line with the evolving needs of customers.”

Commenting on the partnership, Umair Aijaz, CEO Raqami Islamic Digital Bank Ltd., stated, “At Raqami, we actively nurture the vision of a transformative banking landscape—one where accessibility evolves into empowerment. Along with U Bank, we are not merely reimagining banking; we will fundamentally reshape it, ushering in new standards for seamless Islamic digital experiences.”

Such strategic collaborations and relentless innovation open avenues to explore additional use cases to expand digital banking in Pakistan and reinforce both the organizations’ shared vision for a more inclusive and accessible banking ecosystem in the country.

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