02 Apr 2013

MANAMA, BAHRAIN – 02 April 2013 – Ithmaar Bank, a Bahrain-based Islamic retail bank, today announced (ed note: 020413) its collaboration with global payments and technology company MasterCard to further expand the Bank’s debit card offerings.

Following the new tie-up with MasterCard, Ithmaar Bank has launched two new debit cards from the MasterCard Premium Debit Card Collection which are the first Islamic segmented MasterCard Debit Cards in Bahrain. Under the newly introduced program, all eligible Ithmaar Bank customers will have their existing debit cards upgraded, at no additional cost, to the new MasterCard Debit Plus card, while Ithmaar Premier Customers will receive an exclusive Ithmaar MasterCard Premier Debit Card. Ithmaar Bank will further differentiate the offerings available to its diverse set of customers through these new cards.

MasterCard Debit Plus card holders will not only gain free access to various airport lounges in the region including Dubai, Kuwait, Cairo, Dammam, Jeddah and Riyadh, but they will also be automatically enrolled in the MasterCard Moments Program. This program is managed by MasterCard and it offers numerous benefits, privileges and discounts from prestigious brands around the world.

The new Debit Plus card will offer special daily cash withdrawal limits and daily Point of Sale (POS) purchase limits. With a MasterCard branded debit card, cardholders will have access to payment facilities at more than 34 million merchants worldwide.

The Ithmaar MasterCard Premier Debit card, which offers additional benefits and features, will be presented exclusively to Ithmaar Premier members. Ithmaar Premier is an invitation-only programme for Ithmaar Bank’s customers.

Ithmaar also announced that MasterCard cardholders will be able to withdraw cash and make balance inquiries from the Bank’s Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) soon.. Cash withdrawals can be made with all MasterCard credit cards, whether issued locally or globally, as well as all debit cards issued within the GCC. This, in turn, effectively allows customers extended access to cash across the Kingdom with any MasterCard Debit and Credit cards from around the world.

Many of Ithmaar Bank’s full service ATMs offer a unique real-time cash deposit service that allows customers to instantly deposit cash directly into their accounts. This service is currently available at ATMs located in Seef Tower (Main branch), East Riffa (Bukawara), Muharraq, West Riffa, Bahrain Mall, Salmabad, Manama Souq, Sanad, Budaiya, Hamala, Busaiteen and Ladies Branch.

“The strategic partnership with MasterCard demonstrates the Bank’s commitment to become the Islamic retail bank of choice by continuously improving our customer offerings,” said Ithmaar Bank General Manager, Retail Banking, Ahmed Abdul Rahim. “We take these commitments very seriously,” he said.

“We are also driven to maintain our long-standing commitment to get closer to our customers by adding new products and services while simultaneously improving existing offerings and constantly enhancing our customer services experience,” said Abdul Rahim. “This is in line with our strategic plan of becoming the region’s premier Islamic retail bank,” he added.

“Consumers in Bahrain have demonstrated a growing keenness towards adopting premium debit products that give them the convenience of accessing their funds from anywhere in the world while also enjoying unique privileges and rewards. The Ithmaar MasterCard Debit Plus Card and Ithmaar MasterCard Premier Debit Card have been tailored to meet the specific needs of the Bahraini consumer and we are confident that the launch of this debit payment solution will prove to be a key catalyst for further enhancing the appeal of premium debit cards in the region,” said Raghu Malhotra, Division President, Middle East and North Africa, MasterCard.

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