The BIBF and AFS Sign MoU to Launch “Payments Academy”


MANAMA - Arab Financial Services (AFS), the MEA region’s foremost payment solutions provider and FinTech enabler and the Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance (BIBF), Bahrain’s leading provider of quality training and education, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to launch a graduate development program under the “Payments Academy.” The program will train and up-skill financial services personnel and those who are engaged in technology solutions related to payments, while opening up new career prospects in this growing market segment. The MoU was signed by the BIBF Director, Dr. Ahmed Abdul Hameed Al Shaikh, and the CEO of AFS, Mr. B Chandrasekhar according to the official website of Bahrain Institute for Banking and Finance.

The CEO of AFS, Mr. B Chandrasekhar said, “This partnership is part of AFS’ greater plan to not only deliver relevant content but tailor experiences for financial sector professionals and challenge them with new concepts that reflect the sector’s ongoing evolution. Our vision is to equip individuals with the skills, expertise, understanding and capabilities to contribute to and further develop the region’s future financial landscape. As such, we are pleased to work alongside the BIBF, who are a fitting partner, playing a vital role in providing quality up-skilling through the institute’s customized training solutions.”

The BIBF’s Director, Dr. Ahmed Abdul Hameed Al Shaikh stated, “The BIBF continues to provide capacity building programmes both within and outside the Kingdom of Bahrain, with the objective of filling the skills-gap in the financial sector.” He also added, “We are pleased to partner with AFS, a company that strives to deliver innovative and integrated payment and FinTech solutions to aspiring talent in the financial sector.”

New technologies are emerging in the payments industry and young professionals are keen to master these technologies and adopt them in their works-teams. To be launched in the first quarter of 2019, the “Payments Academy” program will enable this and boast additional partnerships with leading industry players.

With more than 30 years’ experience, AFS serves over 75 clients across the financial sector in more than 21 countries. AFS is owned by 39 banks and financial institutions and regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain. The company offers innovative and end-to-end payment services and solutions that span card processing, merchant acquiring, FinTech and a state-of-the-art value-added services suite. AFS has introduced significantly disruptive and cutting edge FinTech solutions in recent years: In 2018, AFS introduced bwallet to the region – the first mobile wallet facilitating peer-to-peer and cashless transactions. Today, bwallet has established itself as the market leader with a significant user and merchant footprint across the Kingdom of Bahrain. EasyPay was another first from AFS – Bahrain’s first NFC payment service allowing payments with a tap of the mobile. Other innovations rolled out by AFS have been electronic KYC, Peer-to-Peer (P2P), Peer-to-Merchant (P2M), QR enabled payments, Tokenization, Remittance, WPS and Digital Banking solutions. In the fourth quarter of 2018, AFS is slated to launch merchant acquiring services to banks including end-to-end platform, settlement, E-Commerce and integrated POS devices supporting contactless cards, NFC, QR and other forms of payment acceptance.

The BIBF is affiliated to the Central Bank of Bahrain and was established in 1981, benefiting more than 340,000 learners over 37 years in various fields, including Banking, Accounting, Insurance, Leadership & Management, IT & Project Management, Academic programs, in addition to providing internationally-recognized training solutions.