First online bank to launch in Saudi Arabia

The launch of the first online bank in Saudi Arabia will be announced on Friday evening. Manama-based Gulf International Bank will be launching the new bank, which will reportedly be an “online-only” service, with customers making deposits and transfers online and checks to be deposited via self-service machines at branches to be opened across the Kingdom. Customers will meet with an employee from the bank only once, when they register for a new account. The service will be open to individuals only. Despite having relatively low penetration rates for Internet banking, the Gulf region has great potential to assimilate new online banking services due to the high Internet penetration rates.