How to Choose a Bank in the UAE
Every customer understands that almost every financial transaction involves certain element of risk which is why it is very important for customers to be prudent in choosing a bank for their financial transactions. At the same time, it is highly essential for banks to take these elements into consideration in order to acquire customers dealing with highly sensitive information. So how do you find out which bank is the right one for you and what are the factors to be considered while choosing one in UAE? Identifying your needs: With over 40 banks offering services in UAE, it can be overwhelming when it comes to choosing any one bank. One of the first and foremost determinants to be considered while deciding is your banking requirement. Once you are aware of your needs as a customer, it is considerably easy to choose a bank. There are various banks in UAE that provide different services and benefits for the customers. Large banks such as Standard Chartered and HSBC have branches and ATMs all over UAE making them easily accessible for their customers. They also offer an array of customised services for high net worth individuals. Work hours and location: An obvious choice would be to choose a bank that is located in nearby vicinity and that would have timings suited to your schedule. A closely located bank makes it easier for all your financial transactions to be carried out in a convenient manner. At the same time, choosing a bank that has a lot of ATMs throughout UAE eliminates the transaction charges that you otherwise have to bear if you use any other banks ATM for your monetary transactions. Banking Charges: Even though banks in UAE may not have any charges for opening an account, you might be charged a penalty in case you fail to maintain adequate balance. For example, as per the limit set by the Central Bank, the minimum balance that needs to be maintained in order to avoid a penalty is a maximum of AED 3,000. Failure to adhere to this induces a penalty of AED 25. Apart from this charge, there are various other fees that areimposed on the customers, such as: New cheque book: AED 25 Cheque bounce penalty: AED 100 Using other bank ATM: AED 2 This charge is the maximum limit that is set by the Central Bank, and actual charges may vary for each bank. Bank Size: As mentioned earlier, choosing a bank as per your requirement is crucial. If you are someone who often travels to international countries for work, then choosing international banks such as Barclays or Citibank would prove to be more beneficial. However, if you rarely go out of the country for business, it would be advisable to choose a local bank such Al Hilal Bank or Sharjah Islamic Bank. Customer Service: Some banks offer various add on services but fail to provide adequate service to the customers. Banks may appear to be very proactive in the preopening stage of the account, but what really matters is the level of service they offer after you are their customer. Usually, regional banks are known to provide personalised service to the customers as compared to large banks that simply provide additional benefits. Internet Banking: With the ever growing pace in technology, it is important for banks to stay up to speed with the technology. Most users nowadays prefer to bank from the comfort of their homes rather than physically visiting the branch. Hence, when choosing a bank in UAE, it is highly important to identify which bank offers the perfect mix of offline as well as online services. The easiest way is to ask your friends and family members who already have accounts in the ban where you wish to open an account. With Internet banking, you can pay your bills, book tickets or even shop online which makes your life much simpler. Banking is the first step in effectively managing your finances. Hence it is important that every individual takes these factors into consideration before opening a bank account with any bank. Once you have done a thorough research, managing your money would rather be a simple task.