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ila Updates
Dec 13, 2020
Bank ABC wins the 2020 Gartner Eye on Innovation Award

Bank ABC’s path-breaking innovation and ila Bank’s digital assistant, Fatema shines at the prestigious international awards recognizing financial services organisations for innovative use of digital technologies.

Manama, Bahrain: Bank ABC has been named the winner of the 2020 Gartner Eye on Innovation Award for financial services in Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region.
The award recognises Bank ABC’s remarkable approach to customer service for its new-age digital, mobile-only bank ila, through an emotionally intelligent digital-human agent with autonomous movements and facial expressions, named Fatema.

The Gartner awards celebrate innovative use of digital technology-enabled capabilities, products or services to highlight "best-in-class" financial industry initiatives launched within the past 12 months. Bank ABC won the award after a rigorous evaluation process which included two rounds of voting, competing against 9 leading international financial institutions, out of a total over 200 entries submitted.

“We have always been committed to pushing the envelope of digital innovation in the region and are thrilled to be the first bank from the Middle East to have received this world-renowned recognition. This award distinguishes us from our peers in the EMEA region, and it also showcases what is possible when leveraging Bahrain’s solid fintech infrastructure and ecosystem” remarked Sael Al Waary, Deputy Group CEO, Bank ABC.

“Our Group Innovation function spearheaded this initiative to take the banking experience to new frontiers. I want to congratulate the team and to thank them for their innovative ideas and the hard work that went into developing this product. AI and data science will soon be embedded deep in our lives, as individuals and as a community at large. It will redefine the workforce and the way we do business across industries including banking and finance. At Bank ABC we recognise its potential and are incorporating it to create the ‘bank of the future’,” added Mr. Al Waary.

Created with Digital DNATM technology, Fatema is a first of her kind emotionally intelligent digital human, who captures the emotions of people speaking with her and reacts with empathy. She speaks English and will soon speak in Arabic and Hindi to reach wider communities. Using a diverse set of technologies such as autonomous 3D graphics, natural language processing, and automated sentiment analysis, Fatema has answered tens of thousands of customer questions since her initial launch in 2019. She is also a popular AI and financial literacy ambassador in the region through her social media channels and event appearances.

"Driving digital capabilities that solve customer pain-points and provide a more seamless banking experience is one of our key priorities," said Dr. Yousif Almas, Group Chief Innovation Officer, Bank ABC. “We knew that a path-breaking bank like ila needed an equally path-breaking approach to customer service and hence we embarked on a journey to create a human-like digital banking assistant for the post-app era of banking.”