Visa card use goes up in Middle East

DUBAI - The Middle East is witnessing an increasing shift towards retail usage of visa cards, leading to an annual retail sales volume of over $ 9 billion during this year, said Hussein Al Qemzi, General Manager, National Bank of Sharjah.

By A Staff Reporter

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Published: Thu 2 Dec 2004, 12:36 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 11:46 AM

Al Qemzi said: "The number of cards in the region has increased from a base of 5 million visa cards to over 50 million cards today and CEMEA (Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East and Africa, is currently Visa international's fastest growing region. The NBS was the first bank in the world to have converted completely from conventional to Islamic banking three years ago. The bank is now focusing on regional expansion and development strategies in the GCC. We aim to be the bank of choice for customers looking for Sharia products and provide Sharia compliant alternatives to conventional products. We are committed to developing additional banking products and raise the bar for Islamic banking in the region."

Meanwhile, Al Qemzi, also announced the launch of world's first Sharia-compliant card for university students, the NBS Affinity card. The card is launched in conjunction with Visa International and the American University of Sharjah. The Affinity card is designed to provide university students with the experience of managing their own finances. This Sharia compliant payment card is an alternative to the conventional credit cards in the market.

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