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Jordan’s Ahli Bank launches app on cloud-native platform

Middle East bank launches app on latest cloud-native banking platform from Google-inspired company

Jordan Ahli Bank has launched a banking app that allows its business and retail customers to make and receive payments at a lower cost.

Built on a Google-inspired cloud-native banking platform, the Qawn app, which the bank describes as a “social payments app”, is connected to Jordanian payment network CliQ.

Previously known as the Jordan National Bank, Amman-headquartered Jordan Ahli Bank also has operations in Lebanon, Palestine and Cyprus.

The app is available on Android and iPhone devices, and customers can open accounts remotely in five minutes rather than having to visit a branch. It supports Arabic and English-speaking users. 

Nidal Khalifeh, CIO at Jordan Ahli Bank, said it wanted to address real-life problems with cutting-edge technology. “Money is inherently social, and we want to reinvent digital money with a social aspect,” he said. “Our app is designed to be secure, user-friendly and offer guidance with a focus on technology.”

The app has been built on cloud-native core banking technology from Thought Machine. The supplier’s platform, known as Vault, enables banks to offer functionality and ease of use for customers similar to that offered by the internet giants.

Thought Machine was set up in 2016 by ex Google executives including Paul Taylor, the internet giant’s former head of text-to-speech.

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Traditional banking giants Lloyds Banking Group, JPMorgan Chase, SEB, Standard Chartered and BBVA have joined challengers such as Atom bank and payments fintechs TransferGo and Curve as customers of the London-based fintech. It’s currently investing in global expansion, and Jordan Ahli Bank is its first customer in the Middle East.

Paul Taylor, CEO and founder of Thought Machine, which is now a finetch unicorn, said: “There is a huge opportunity to transform the way financial services are delivered across the Middle East – with modern technology at the forefront.

“Bringing Qawn to the market is just the start – we look forward to expanding our partnership with Jordan Ahli Bank to bring further innovative financial solutions to Jordan and elsewhere in the Middle East and North Africa region.”

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