Faysal Bank recently launched an alternative to a credit card – the Noor card – in the process of transforming its banking operations from conventional banking to Islamic banking. The Correspondent spoke to the head of Islamic Banking of Faysal Bank, Muhammad Faisal Shaikh, to learn about this innovative new product and the future of Faysal Bank.
Faisal Shaikh said it took five years to bring an Islamic alternate for the credit card. “Noor Card is not a Credit Card in its pure sense but it’s an alternate to a credit card,” Faisal Shaikh clarified. Faysal Bank reviewed many structures and finally decided to adopt the “Tawarruq” structure as it was not in the Pakistani market. There are two structures for such cards, one is Ujra structure and the other is called Tawarruq Card. Ujra Card has certain issues, especially in Pakistan. They don’t think it wise to use the Ujra card and it is better to use Tawarruq which is much closer to Sharia, according to scholars. This Tawarruq structure is also can be used in an easier manner compared to the Ujra structure.
He said Faysal Bank is undergoing a complete transformation from a conventional bank to an Islamic bank. He added that the Noor credit card is one of the flagship projects which was launched as part of the transformation plan.
Faysal Bank, at the moment, has 500 Islamic branches across Pakistan and has a portfolio of more than 400 billion rupees. Faisal Shaikh said that the bank has planned to fully convert into an Islamic bank by the end of the next year. Admitting that this is an ambitious target, Faisal Shaikh was optimistic that the bank will achieve its goal before the due date.