Few banks in our region have fully embraced the potential of technology in digitalization. CIB, however, has bucked this trend, and has proved its devotion to scaling up the presence of financial solutions in the day-to-day lives of customers.

CIB’s commitment to developing innovative products and services suited to the digital era is as evident as ever. This year, CIB has inaugurated two major projects: the Core Banking Release, which will allow the Bank to transition to the R18 Platform, and a new digital platform for consumers. These interrelated projects will accelerate the Bank’s efforts to upgrade its functionalities, offer customers a better, more streamlined experience, and enhance CIB’s product mix. Such innovation will be crucial to maintaining the Bank’s position as a market leader.

Many segments in Egypt’s credit market remain unpenetrated, leaving vast opportunities for growth. Seeking to tap into these segments, in 4Q2018 CIB launched its Supporting Financial Inclusion program with the aim of building the infrastructure required to bring financial services to unbanked Egyptians via digital channels.

To stay competitive in the market, CIB has supplemented its customer-centric approach with a focus on incorporating scalable technologies across all our services. Under the Sigma Program, CIB has succeeded in delivering projects that enhance customer engagement, operational efficiency, and allow the Bank to capitalize on new sources of revenue. The year has seen CIB reap gains from increased customer interaction on our new corporate trade and cash platforms and a new workflow system that has optimized the operations landscape, allowing us to consolidate all workflows under a single system.

One of the major projects delivered this year was our Customer Relationship Management program, with its account opening and service request modules. The program is a solution designed to build stronger relationships with customers, whether the objective is customer retention or giving a boost to business growth.

We continued this year to work on enhancing the Bank’s security posture to manage emerging cyber security threats and risk. CIB’s ongoing technological advancement relies on always keeping our security technologies updated to cope with the speed of change and maturity of the threats and risks, having the right security strategy, and incorporating security analysis to act as a cornerstone in all businesses.

However, technological advancement can only succeed with a team of the right caliber in place. Guided by our purpose of being an “Employer of Choice”, a number of initiatives were carried out to raise staff morale. These include periodic events held to award top performers among Call Center staff, which have helped reduce the staff attrition rate to 2.8%. Our staff empowerment efforts have involved extending their authorities, training, and motivation in the context of our customer-centric philosophy, in addition to providing the iCare and iOwn training for staff in different domains. On the branch front, we launched a “Good to Great” program specifically tailored to customer-serving staff. On-the-job training continued with the same momentum. In alignment with international norms in the area of building staff skillsets, employees were offered certifications based on job requirements to meet today’s dynamic work environment needs across the COO arena, with special focus given to technical training for IT staff.

Our branch network remains the main channel for serving customers. In 2018, we managed to deliver nine new branches to reach a total of 203 branches. ATMs have proven to be a main anchor in offloading branch customers, and we added 98 ATMs in 2018 for a total of 917 ATMs in the network.

In 2019, CIB will continue to focus on investing in the technologies that bring to fruition our transformation strategy and allow us to implement our digitalization initiatives, construct scalable networks, and initiate projects that enhance the Bank’s security and the performance of its systems with a data-centric approach. As for operations, process re-engineering and customer satisfaction will be the primary drivers for most of the activities taking place next year.

Information Technology

The past couple of years have seen a real transformation in CIB’s IT functions. This transformation has been at the heart of all the initiatives and activities we have successfully delivered. The Bank’s appetite for technological advancement has required IT to work on bringing this power to the whole Bank through integrating Big Data environments, upgrading infrastructure resiliency, optimizing our storage, and building enterprise platforms to create the profound shift needed for CIB to continue to be a leading service provider.

The rapid adoption of data analysis as a primary tool for creating a diverse spectrum of products and services customized to every customers’ taste has meant investing in the construction of our Big Data environment. We have implemented state-of-the art technology into our data warehouse infrastructure to enhance report extraction and data analysis.

Naturally, aggressive business growth has meant expanding IT across various fronts. This year, we continued optimizing our storage to enhance performance, capacity, and data protection capabilities. Growth has also required ongoing development of our security systems. We continue to reinforce our security strategy by integrating future security components, enhancing our network and data security.

CIB’s transformation strategy also entails scalable infrastructure. In 2018, the Bank took the first steps toward implementing a new software defined network (SDN) to create a virtual network across data centers. With this technology, CIB can support a new generation of distributed applications and accommodate virtualized and non-virtualized environments. The technology will also help the Bank fulfill current and future business objectives linked to the evolution in digitalization and mobile applications solutions.

To better manage its activities, IT has commenced an enterprise platform implementation strategy. The new platforms will link data collected from different technologies quickly and efficiently, simplifying and unifying systems. These platforms grow more valuable as the volume of business increases, leading to an influx of activity both by internal users and customers.

IT began to implement a program of automation and process re-engineering after assessing options for enhancing IT productivity and supporting IT resource management and efficiency. Furthermore, IT monitoring capabilities have matured to deliver visibility across the entire IT landscape and provide supervision over systems, business services, network, and customer touch points, as well as user behavior.

Operations Channels and Customer Experience

The Bank’s success goes beyond offering the usual services to our customers. It hinges on our ability to effectively execute the move to a more customer-centric approach, which will be achieved through operational efficiency, automation, and process re-engineering, all with the aim of reducing the costs of service and improving customer satisfaction. This in turn will be achieved through digital channels, always with an eye to providing a first-class customer experience.

CIB continues to maintain its attention to customers’ voices, further developing its annual Customer Satisfaction & Net Promoter Score survey to measure customer satisfaction across all segments and service channels. Major improvement against regional benchmarks was recorded in 2018 scores, a result of expanding key service indicators to include a mixture of globally recognized service standards and competitive analysis measures.

When it comes to staying committed to our customer-centric strategy, it is imperative to build a culture that empowers staff to handle customers’ requests and complaints swiftly. One of the major initiatives the Bank adopted on this front in 2018 was the First Contact Resolution, implemented across the CIB Call Center to allow staff to serve the customer end-to-end and handle complaints in a dynamic and proactive manner.

Our customers depend on us to provide top-notch service, and various initiatives were launched throughout the year to enhance their experience by applying a multi-vendor strategy with ATMs. This focus ensures the availability of multiple service providers, helping avoid any service disruption and maintaining the quality of service provided to our customers.

Operations continues to be at the core of the automation and re-engineering initiatives. Movement in this area ranged from shifting different activities to the Call Center to re-engineering multiple processes to allow the Bank to offload support duties from branch staff and significantly shorten service delivery turnaround time.

Operations progressed in 2018 with the automation roadmap set in late 2017. The focus on STP has allowed the Bank to reach an STP rate of 90% for e-remittances.

Orchestrating the digital strategy with both our efficiency and process re-engineering activities is a task that has required aligning all initiatives in a cohesive manner, ultimately reflected in a superior customer experience. SMS activation of debit cards was launched during 2Q2018, decreasing the load of incoming calls to the Call Center and thus enhancing resource capacity. To allow customers to tackle their day to-day activities with ease, the IVR call tree was revamped. This increased customer migration to IVR and enhanced the IVR resolve rate to allow customers to conduct different financial activities quickly and efficiently.

Despite the focus on aligning initiatives with our digital strategy, we never neglect opportunities to re-engineer different processes across the COO area, proactively applying changes to existing processes. Solid processes followed by front-liners for Corporate Account Opening have enhanced turnaround times. Remittance transaction processing time has improved through various process re-engineering initiatives that allowed for the absorption of a significant increase in the volume of transactions with the same resources.

CIB increased its presence in Smart Village by opening a fourth building with a new, state-of-the art Training Center ­— a key venue in CIB’s Head Office expansion.

The Bank is also utilizing technology to enhance staff’s work environment. With the initiation of a new automation initiative, the Quality Management Software system, to serve both the Premises and Facility Management departments, the Bank will positively influence processes in the real estate and premises projects division. During 2018, the procurement team has been working diligently with supply chain colleagues to adopt new e-business suite technologies, helping reduce costs and save processing times.

Security & Resilience Management

With the ever-evolving cyber threat landscape and the rising global concerns surrounding cyber security, it has become increasingly important to develop a dynamic approach in the area of Security and organizational resilience. CIB aims to continuously develop our capabilities to remain in tune with global trends and best practices. CIB takes its security and customers’ welfare seriously, and executive management has prioritized cyber security and resilience through the involvement of different committees and a mandate to regularly report a brief to the BoD.

The Bank continues to focus on the execution of the security strategy adopted in 2015, with various programs implemented since then. Continuous enhancement of the Security Operations Center is an ongoing activity, and our capabilities were augmented this year through the introduction of cyber threat intelligence. This system provides CIB with early warning signals for more proactive management of the cyber security risks and threats.

CIB understands the importance of education and training within this non-intuitive sphere, and continues to run a Security and Resilience Awareness Program, offering different activities on multiple channels targeting customers. The Bank has also instituted several structured internal awareness activities and mandatory training for staff. Moreover, CIB continues to invest in enhancing the skills of the Security & Resilience Management team through learning and development programs.

The Bank has hired globally renowned security consultancy services, emphasizing the priority it has placed on this strategic direction. Our consulting partners have assessed the quality of the investments made in the area of security and found them to enjoy a very structured and valid strategic approach, endorsing management directions in this domain.

Compliance continues to be an area of focus, and CIB maintains certification status with the Payment Card Industry – Data Security Standards (PCI-DSS) for the second consecutive year. CIB also fully complies with the Swift Customer Security Program (CSP) mandatory requirements.

Major investments have been deployed to improve and refresh CIB’s security infrastructure technologies and strengthen our defense-in-depth strategy through world-class technology solutions coupled with an enabled workforce, policies, and procedures.

Taking our business continuity capabilities to the next level, resilience management was introduced, with a widened scope of oversight for business continuity and contingency management to cover critical third parties in addition to the internal capabilities.

Finally, this year the Bank proudly received ISO22301:2012 certification for Business Continuity Management. ISO 22301 certification was awarded to CIB by PECB, a global provider of training, examination, audit, and certification standards, in partnership with EGYBYTE, a leader in the MENA market for IT Service Management.

ISO 22301 is the International Standard for Business Continuity Management, providing guidance to certified organizations allowing them to identify and manage the current and potential future threats to the business. Hence, taking a proactive approach to minimize the impacts of incidents, minimize downtime, improve recovery time, and demonstrate resilience to customers and suppliers.

ISO certification is a major recognition of CIB’s efforts on the business continuity front. CIB’s ISO certified Business Continuity Management System has left the Bank in a position to effectively limit the risk of unexpected incidents, allowing the Bank to operate during tough situations, reduce the likelihood of operational disruptions, and continue to provide customers with the expected services while maintaining the highest levels of customer satisfaction.

CIB is best known for its innovation, and has succeeded in embedding this culture at both the technological and operational levels. Most importantly, innovation has been successfully used for the task of making our customers happy.