Save, make, understand money


Ray of hope for Al Rayan customers forced to move to app banking

Paloma Kubiak
Written By:
Paloma Kubiak

Al Rayan customers were given a deadline of this week to download its app as it shuts off the online banking service. However, there may be a trick for users.

The Sharia-compliant bank first unveiled plans last summer to switch to mobile banking, forcing new and existing customers to download its app to carry out transactions. Customers are still able to use the bank’s branch network and telephone banking, however.

It set a deadline of Friday 13 March to register for the mobile banking app or for existing customers to contact the bank to receive a ‘hard token’ device allowing them to continue to access accounts via desktop.

This device was aimed at those with older smartphones as all personal banking customers using online savings and current account products will need to download the app to compatible devices – this means at least version 12 (iOS) and version 8 (Android).

However, Al Rayan has introduced an ‘authenticator’ enabling customers to view their accounts online without downloading the mobile banking app or using the hard token device.

The one snag is that the authenticator is an app which needs to be downloaded from the App Store or Google Play. It’s compatible for Android 4.1 and above and iOS 8 and above.

You can use the app to scan authentication images that will be displayed in the digital banking desktop portal. Al Rayan explains that once an image is scanned, the app will display an authentication code for use when customers log in to online banking and complete transactions.

It comes as the Payment Services Regulations (PSD2) require all payment service providers that offer online/mobile payment accounts to customers to implement ‘strong customer authentication’ for online banking by 14 March 2020.

This is to protect customers against online criminals and requires at least two of three categories of passwords and information for customers to log in to accounts.

An Al Rayan spokesperson, said: “The Al Rayan Bank authenticator has been introduced to help customers bank with us securely, quickly and conveniently.

“It enables customers with older phones to securely manage their accounts on a desktop or laptop computer without having to wait for a hard token to be delivered. The Android Authenticator was launched earlier this week and has been successfully downloaded by hundreds of customers.

“Once downloaded, customers use the app to scan authentication images that are displayed on their Digital Banking desktop portal. Once an image is scanned, the app displays an authentication code for use when customers log in to and complete transactions.”

Customers have taken to twitter and forums to say they are facing frustrating experiences in downloading the Al Rayan banking app and are having problems with the authenticator.

The spokesperson, added: “The Bank has thousands of customers using the main Mobile Banking App and hundreds using the Authenticator. Anyone who requires assistance should contact us on 0800 694 7193.”

But customers may be on hold for a while as the bank is experiencing high call volumes.