Sunday, December 14, 2008

Al Rajhi to join MEPS service network

Al Rajhi Bank Malaysia will be the first foreign Islamic Bank to join the Malaysian Electronic Payment System Sdn Bhd or MEPS service network.
"As a trade-off, Al Rajhi Bank will give MEPS, a link to Saudi Arabia," said its director of retail banking, Sabry Ghouse, to reporters at a official signing ceremony between the bank and Lembaga Zakat Selangor (LZS) in Kuala Lumpur last Friday. The ceremony marked the appointment of Al Rajhi Bank as the LZS zakah payment agent for zakah Al Mal.
Ghouse noted that Al Rajhi is bringing value to the table whereby it will make available Saudi Switch, another system payment network,for Malaysia. "We will make a proper announcement on this next week," he said. It was reported last month that MEPS, an interbank payment network service provider, was talking to three foreign Islamic banks in Malaysia to join it.
Besides Al-Rajhi Bank, MEPS was hoping to clinch a deal with Kuwait Finance House and the Asian Finance Bank by the second quarter of next year. "Within the next two days we will have the final word from MEPS on our participation. Everthing is more or less all right. We have formally agreed," said Ghouse.
According to Ghouse, the MEPS service network will make it easier for Lembaga Tabung Haji as well as Malaysians in Mekah and Madinah for the Haj and Umrah activities, as they do not have to take along a lot of money. There are currently 1,800 Automated Teller Machines (ATMs) in Saudi Arabia. — Bernama

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