30 July 2013
South African bank Absa has launched the world’s first Shari’ah compliant banking solution, in the form of an Islamic cheque value bundle offering customers a package of transactions and services for a flat monthly fee with cash-back rewards.
“Absa’s Islamic cheque value bundle offering will be the first Shari’ah compliant product of its kind to be marketed in the world,” Absa head of retail banking, Arrie Rautenbach, said in a statement on Monday.
“With the value bundles rebate customers can enjoy monthly savings of up to 70% of their monthly fees depending on the type of account they hold and the number of eligible products they have with us.”
The launch follows the bank’s introduction of its conventional value bundles package last year, which was awarded best value transactional option from South African banks in the annual 2012 Finweek survey of bank fees.
The value bundle will also offer benefits on the bank’s Absa Rewards programme. The programme allows customers to earn up to 1% back in cash rewards, on all qualifying Absa debit, cheque and credit card purchases.
Additional cash rewards are available when members use their Absa card when shopping at any of the Absa Rewards partners.
Customers with the new Absa Islamic cheque value bundle will receive a free Absa Rewards subscription for one year, free bank switching assistance, cash rebates for taking up several other eligible products and a discount on the monthly fee for keeping a set positive balance, according to the bank.
“Absa Rewards members could build up even more uncapped cash rewards on debit, credit and cheque card spend with the value bundles offering, where customers can earn up to 1% of their spend on any card, regardless of how much they spend,” Rautenbach said.
“We understand that customers who seek Shar’iah-compliant banking solutions have essentially the same banking requirements as other customers, and our solutions are developed to ensure they are able to manage their personal finances with ease, freedom and flexibility.
“By allowing us the ability to offer these great savings to an interest-free banking model, this offering ensures that Absa Islamic Banking customers’ needs are put first,” he said.