All articles by Farah Halime

Farah Halime

Revolutionising security

IrisGuard, the Amman-based technology company which specialises in unique iris-recognition technology, first caught the attention of some of the Middle Easts border security executives in the United Arab Emirates when hundreds of banned workers attempted to return to the nation to obtain work illegally, with few security procedures in place. But since the company installed its service at the capitals airport in Abu Dhabi, Imad Malhas, the chief executive and co-founder of IrisGuard, says the software has caught 600,000 people attempting to illegally return to the UAE. The IrisGuard machine scans irises, the coloured part of the eye, enrolling that persons unique genetic data into its software. Though at an airport, this might mean enrolling newcomers to the country, Mr Malhas says in other circumstances, the iris can become the key to purchasing power.

UAE banks failing customers, says cashy

Farah Halime reports on the lack of dialogue between the banks and their customers and the implications this has on debt management and switcher rates. As the uncomfortable near 50-degree highs give way to cooler 30s in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the temperature of residents is reaching boiling point

The challenge for the payments business

Now in its sixth year, the World Payments Report from Capgemini, Royal Bank of Scotland, and the European Financial Marketing Association looks at the payments business as it faces challenges from economic and competitive conditions, technology advances, increased regulatory pressure and customer demands. Payments and other transaction banking services have proved resilient during the economic crisis, but the rapidly changing external environment will require banks to decide to what extent payments are core to their business strategies.

Banesto 3Q10 results herald tough times ahead

Banesto, the first Spanish bank to report third quarter results, posted a 52% drop in third quarter net profit to 68.9m ($95.6bn) from 144.1m in the same period of 2009 mostly due to high provisions against bad loans The bank, majority owned by Santander, said its bad loan ratio as a proportion of assets rose to 3.8% in the first nine months of 2009, from 3.48% at the end of June This is still better than the 5.37% level of the Spanish banking sector as a whole, which is struggling to grow in the aftermath of the eurozone sovereign debt crisis

Death, taxes and compliance

Banking has dominated the news for entirely the wrong reasons A financial crime round table, headed by vendor Temenos, offers insight into the future of tackling corruption in the banking industry

BBVA signs $100m NBA sponsorship deal

BBVAs decision to sponsor the US-based National Basketball Association (NBA) is not just one of the biggest sports sponsorship deals since the economic crisis: it is the biggest-ever sports sponsorship deal signed by a Spanish bank.

Consolidation to slow, says KPMG

Building societies are facing a squeeze on profits and a growing regulatory burden The cost of funding has soared and societies have resorted to cost cutting and consolidation KPMGs Richard Gabbertas tells Farah Halime how the sector will respond to the same challenges faced by retail banks much larger in size.

Santander, Barclays join top brands

A difficult 18 months has seen the banking industrys reputation tarnished Global brand consultancy Interbrands Best Global Brands 2010 shows banks are still not competing with giants such as Coca Cola But the financial services sector is putting up a fight

Unibank leads Haiti m-payments launch

Unibank, the largest bank by assets headquartered in Haiti, has teamed up with wireless operator Voila and international relief agency Mercy Corps to introduce a mobile money service in Haiti. Subject to the approval of Banque de la Republique dHaitis (Haitis Central Bank), Unibank and its partners plan to extend the initial m-payments service to target Haitis unbanked segment with an expanded range of services, including domestic and international money transfer, bill pay and top up services.

Leumi retains top spot

Israels top five banks dominate the countrys banking sector and the first half of 2010 has been no exception