Al Rajhi Bank installs international chip-card ATMs

13 January 2009

Rajhi Bank, the first Islamic Bank in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, has announced that it is installing advanced Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs) across KSA that accept chip-cards based on international standards.
Visa operates the world’s largest retail electronic payments network and has provided technical and consultancy support for the installation, which will enable all Visa chip card transactions to take place using the chip on the card rather than the less secure magnetic stripe at any of Al Rajhi Bank ATMs. The new ATMs will be situated at malls, streets, petrol stations, hospitals, airports and hotels and are already in operation.  The ATMs will still be able to accept cards without a chip.

We have installed dozens of new ATM machines around the country, as part of our ongoing investments in technologies, and commitment to providing excellent banking services.  We are confident that our sophisticated banking network will be very useful, as chip-card holders can withdraw money directly from their Visa credit or debit cards and do not have to carry travellers cheques,” said Abdullah Sulaiman Al Rajhi, CEO of Al Rajhi Bank.

We have an excellent reputation for utilising cutting-edge financial technology, which is underscored by the launch of this initiative as it will assist our customers to benefit from a new generation of payment cards,” Al Rajhi added.
Chip-cards, or smart cards, are an updated version of standard payment cards that have many advantages such as increased safety, additional features and greater convenience. 
Al Rajhi Bank obtained the licence to install the new ATMs from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA).
We are pleased to have partnered with one of the most reputable institutions in Saudi to offer Visa cardholders this advanced electronic payment solution. A chip transaction is secure and these new ATMs will make it even less likely that a Visa chip cardholder will have their card used fraudulently.   It’s one less thing to worry about,” said Ihab Ayoub, General Manager, Visa, KSA, Kuwait, Bahrain, Oman and Yemen.

The new ATMs will know if a card has a chip on it and will insist on using the chip to make the transaction.  If a counterfeit card using stolen magnetic stripe data is used then the transaction will be declined and fraud prevented.
Visa has provided dedicated technical and consultancy support for this initiative with Al Rajhi Bank, we provide Visa cardholders, businesses and merchants with value-added services that complement their financial needs,” Ayoub added.

Al Rajhi Bank operates one of the largest banking networks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as it accepts all Visa chip cards issued internationally. The Bank’s machines are connected to Visa’s network; with its banking transactions distinguished by easy usage, accuracy, and speed in processing. Al Rajhi Bank is one of the largest joint stock companies in the Kingdom, and has its Head Office located in Riyadh, with six additional regional offices around KSA.
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