Qorus-Infosys Finacle Banking Innovation Awards 2024

Riyad Bank Al Hilal Co-branded Credit Cards

14/05/2024 Banking Innovation


Riyad Bank became the only bank in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to launch football co-branded cards by partnering up with the biggest football club in the region i.e Al Hilal. The card has innovative features introduces a digital onboarding journey.

Innovation presentation

Riyad Bank is one of the largest credit card issuers in Saudi Arabia, with a diverse product proposition catering to different customer needs and requirements. As part of its strategy to continuously evolve its credit card offering in order to cater to multiple segments, the Bank entered into a strategic partnership with one of the biggest football clubs not only in Saudi Arabia but across Asia i.e. the Al-Hilal Football Club. Just to give some perspective, the Al-Hilal Football Club is one of the most prestigious and celebrated clubs in Asia with multiple achievements and enjoys one of the strongest pulls and brand power in the country.

As part of this strategic partnership, Riyad Bank has launched a co-branded Credit Card line with the football club, aimed at leveraging the power of the Al-Hilal brand coupled with a powerful cashback proposition to create a competitive edge in the market. Core features of the product are as follows:

1. A seamless end to end digital journey for customers to apply for the Co-branded Credit Card which can be availed from the Al Hilal Blu App, Riyad Bank Public Website or Riyad Bank Digital Channels (App/Online).

2. The whole process from application to card approval takes less than 5 minutes, and the customer gets a virtual card instantly which can be provisioned on Apple Pay.

Uniqueness of the project

Riyad Bank is a strong proponent of innovation through collaboration and creating synergy/outreach through strategic partnerships rather than competing by flying solo. The importance of innovation to drive growth for the organization is immense, especially for its Retail and Credit Cards business where there is a standardization as well as saturation of offerings in the market. The partnership with Al-Hilal Football Club is a testament that the Bank believes in crossing conventional boundaries in order to innovate and to offer products that no other bank is offering in the market. The credit card not only focuses on football fans but also caters to digital savvy, value conscious customers who want the best proposition from their Bank.

Through the product, Riyad Bank has been able to successfully gamify a traditionally simple product that is driven by the amount of the value rather than how the value is given. For the Al Fursan Credit Card, the uniqueness provided to the customer was a blend of both the earn value on normal spend and creating spend targets for them to further accelerate their overall earning. Coupled with same day crediting of rewards, this blend resulted in a product that is much advanced as compared to the market. The innovation represents an incremental innovation since its the first step in the process to change the product propositions of existing products in order to make them more valuable for the customer.

The co-brand with Al-Hilal football by itself inherently makes the project unique since no other bank in the market offers a similar arrangement for this target segment. However key unique features are as follows:

1. End to end digital journey to apply for the card, customers can credit card in less than 5 minutes

2. Cashback being offered to customers on categories such as E-commerce and specifically Online Gaming

3. Access to Al-Hilal official merchandise, priority memberships, VIP tickets, club tour, cup room access etc

4. Extended discounts through Al-Hilal partners and subsidiaries to create a complete value ecosystem for the customer

Riyad Bank has a segmented approach to growing and servicing its customer base. The partnership with Al Hilal was aimed to target specific segments such as youth and football fans. Within these segments, differentiation was created on the basis of income groups by launching a line of three cards i.e. Platinum for mass affluent, World for upper affluent and World Elite for private banking and ultra high net worth. Furthermore, the collaboration does not end at Al Hilal, the idea was to create a partnership eco-system between Riyad Bank and Al Hilal partners as well e.g. Blu, Jahez, Floward etc thus giving the customer a wide range of benefits over and above the football affinity. Going forward we will further expand this relationship to other products such as prepaid cards and segmented deposit products to enable a wider range of use cases for our customers.

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