MUSCAT, 24 September 2014 – Meethaq, the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman from Bank Muscat, has launched a Shari'a-based prepaid card for pilgrims performing Hajj or Umrah in the Holy mosques in Saudi Arabia.
The Meethaq Labbaik card, launched in association with Visa International, can be loaded up to a maximum of RO 960. When embarking on the holy pilgrimage, the Shari'a-based card ensures convenience and security, helping cardholders to either withdraw cash or pay for expenses during Hajj or Umrah. The card is accepted worldwide at Visa merchant outlets, ATMs as well as for online transactions. The card can also be used at ROP counters and government departments in Oman.
Customers are not required to open an account with the bank or maintain a minimum balance to acquire the Labbaik card which can be used any number of times till the specified amount on the card has been spent. On expending the amount, the card can be reloaded at Meethaq Islamic Banking branches or Cash Deposit Machines (CDMs).
All payments are made against the funds available in the prepaid account. There is no spending limit as long as funds are available in the account. Customers can check the balance available in the prepaid account through Meethaq ATMs and other ATMs which display the OmanNet / GCC Switch logos.
Sulaiman Al Harthy, Group General Manager - Islamic Banking, said: “Meethaq is proud to launch the Labbaik card as part of its focus to take the lead in offering a suite of banking products which combine traditional values with modernity and ensure the choice of staying true to one's values. Meethaq has adopted the best practices in Islamic banking and finance worldwide to combine a robust model which protects customers and complements the Islamic banking industry. The Meethaq strategy is to attract customers through innovative Shari'a based products and services which add value to the distinct Islamic banking experience."
The Labbaik card is in line with the objective of a card for everyone, complementing the range of Meethaq card products. The card is thoughtfully designed to help perform Hajj or Umrah, the spiritual journey of one's lifetime, in a pleasant and meaningful manner without distractions. A comprehensive guidebook on Hajj and Umrah is distributed to all Labbaik cardholders.
The Labbaik card facilitates a secure and convenient way to pay for all expenses during the holy pilgrimage, without carrying cash or traveller cheques. The prepaid card ensures that cardholders are always in control of their expenses. The card also facilitates the best foreign exchange rates and ensures that cardholders do not lose out on exchange rate fluctuations on transactions in the card currency.
As the pioneer of Islamic banking in Oman, Meethaq stands out for its independent Shari'a Supervisory Board, separate capital allocation from shareholders' money, unique risk management tools, complete fund segregation, separate books of account, core banking system which supports Islamic banking operations, stand-alone Islamic banking branches and proper profit distribution mechanism among investment account holders/depositors. The adoption of AAOIFI standards (Accounting & Auditing Organisation for Islamic Financial Institutions) distinguishes Meethaq Islamic banking practices in terms of standardisation of products and services. Every Meethaq product goes through the process of Shari'a compliance certification by the Shari'a Supervisory Board and is created in line with the guidelines of the Central Bank of Oman.
To apply for a Meethaq Labbaik card, customers can call 24656666 or visit Meethaq Islamic Banking branches across the Sultanate.