MUSCAT, 16 February 2012 – Bank Muscat, the flagship financial services provider in the Sultanate, has redefined youth banking with its Shababi package aimed at supporting the lifestyle of college students and encouraging savings habit for a secure future. The feature-packed Shababi proposition of benefits and rewards has evoked strong response across the Sultanate.
In line with the directive of His Majesty Sultan Qaboos to support the country's youth, Bank Muscat took the lead in introducing the first youth banking package in Oman. The initiative stemmed from the bank's focus to remain at the forefront in introducing a variety of products and services to meet the ever-changing requirements of customers. Following the successful launch of exclusive products for children and women, Shababi now offers the youth a distinct identity for their banking and financial needs.
Shababi (Youth) is targeted at the country's youth in the age group of 18 to 25 years who are pursuing higher education in university / colleges. Over 23 per cent of the Omani population comprises youth in this category and Shababi fulfills the long-felt need of specialised banking services for this segment.
Amjad Hassan Al Lawati, Head – Products and Services, said: “Shababi represents the country's youth, who are the future of Oman. The package is aimed at supporting their lifestyle and encouraging a savings habit. A strong savings culture inculcated among the youth would have a positive social and economic impact."
The customised Shababi package includes special savings account with a minimum balance requirement of RO 10. Shababi customers will be charged only 250 baisa for lower minimum balance. The package also includes free internet banking, free mobile banking and a colourful and youthful free branded debit card valid for 5 years.
A dedicated web portal (www.bankmuscat.com/shababi) helps Shababi customers to be updated on events and promotions launched in association with partner establishments to involve the youth in recreation, entertainment and sporting activities. From time to time, Shababi launches activities and competitions aimed at encouraging the hobbies of youth.
Amjad Hassan Al Lawati added: “Shababi aims to engage the youth beyond banking, offering varied opportunities to be involved in sports, games, arts and entertainment. In tie-ups with leading establishments, the youth benefit from special offers, promotions and discounts."
Presently, an exciting photography competition is under way for Shababi customers. The competition on the theme of Muscat Festival offers attractive cash prizes of RO 500 for the first prize winner, RO 300 for the second prize winner and RO 100 for the third prize winner.
The competition is open only for Shababi customers and participants are required to email a soft copy of their entry to email@example.com mentioning their Shababi account name and number. All entries must be linked to Muscat Festival activities and the photograph size should not exceed 5 mb. Only one unedited photograph per entry will be accepted. The competition which started on 3 February runs till 28 February and winners will be announced during the third week of March.
Shababi customers enjoy exclusive benefits. Notably, they can participate in Shababi monthly prize draws in which 10 customers receive RO 300 each. Youth customers opening a new Shababi account with just RO 10 get a chance to win RO 300 every month. Shababi account holders are also eligible for al Mazyona savings scheme prizes by maintaining a minimum balance of RO 100.
Shababi package is available for both Omani and expatriate youth studying in local or international colleges in Oman. Howaa Said Al Harthy, student of Al Zahra College, said Shababi was a pioneering initiative by Bank Muscat in identifying the banking requirements of youth. “The new banking package will have a significant impact in promoting the savings habit among young people." Omar bin Abdulaziz Al Hinai from Mazoon College appreciated Bank Muscat for promoting the savings habit among youth. He urged the youth to take advantage of the new package.
Amjad Hassan Al Lawati said: “An exclusive youth account means taking responsibility for one's own money as well as enjoying the benefits of saving. Shababi helps the youth to develop money management skills and ensures that funds are easily accessible with the largest network of branches and convenient 24-hour ATM network across the Sultanate. Customers can also enjoy free 24-hour online banking and mobile banking facilities."
The bank's extensive network of 136 branches in the Sultanate is witnessing keen interest from youth in opening new Shababi accounts.
Amjad Hassan Al Lawati added: “We are happy to help the youth across Oman to open Shababi accounts and enjoy various benefits and rewards. Shababi account spells convenience as branches and ATM / CDM network are located close to their homes. The bank is committed to extending all support to youth. In view of the largest network of 136 branches, Bank Muscat is in a strong position to cater to the banking requirements of youth in all parts of Oman. Over the years, Bank Muscat has strengthened its branch network to enrich the lives of people. The objective is to serve as a vital link, providing better and efficient banking services at the doorstep of customers in Oman."
Shababi is complemented by a number of Bank Muscat products and services specifically targeted at the youth segment. A notable product is Themaar higher education savings plan. The affordable and systematic monthly savings plan opens up a great opportunity for the future of youth.
Amjad Hassan Al Lawati said: “Shababi helps youth to make smart financial choices, notably saving for future requirements. The convenience of one's own bank account helps them to develop good financial habits. Shababi provides smarter ways to save, spend and manage money as a student."