Bahrain-based financial services group Ahli United Bank (AUB) has teamed up with payment technology major Mastercard.

The collaboration makes Mastercard the sole partner of choice for all of AUB’s acquired and existing card operations.

Last year, AUB bought US-based Citigroup’s retail banking business in Bahrain, with the Mastercard alliance covering AUB’s entire portfolio, including the acquired segment.

Additionally, Mastercard will assist AUB in launching value-added services to improve the bank’s card offering.

These services include, among other things, real-time remittance solutions, loyalty programmes, and cyber intelligence solutions.

Furthermore, AUB will launch the World Elite product to offer a variety of specially curated travel, lifestyle, and insurance services.

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AUB deputy group CEO of retail banking Suvrat Saigal said: “We are pleased to choose Mastercard as our exclusive partner for all our issuing activities and growth plans of our retail offerings. In addition to this strategic agreement, we will be introducing the World Elite Card to the AUB portfolio.

“With our recent acquisition of Citibank’s retail business, this will further strengthen our consumer offering, allowing customers to capitalize on a wide array of benefits and experiences.”

Mastercard division president – Middle East & North Africa Khalid Elgibali said: “At Mastercard, we are committed to providing innovative digital payment solutions that address the evolving needs of our consumers.

“And as AUB’s exclusive partner of choice, we look forward to working with them on building a more connected ecosystem and a thriving world beyond cash. Our collaboration with AUB will provide their customers with a variety of value-added benefits and solutions that will elevate their payment experience.”

In October 2022, AUB was acquired by Kuwait Finance House, creating a bank with $118bn in assets and 17,000 employees.