Bank Review: Gulf African Bank—Everything you need to know

Bank Review: Gulf African Bank—Everything you need to know

Gulf African Bank (GAB) is one of the three Islamic banks in Kenya.

It offers Shariah-compliant financial products and services to businesses and individuals.

This article covers the history of Gulf African Bank, how it is different from conventional banks, and its products and services.

History of Gulf African Bank

Gulf African Bank (GAB) is the second Islamic bank to receive its commercial banking licence from the Central Bank of Kenya.

The bank was founded and incorporated on the 6th of August and it began operating on the 8th of January, 2008.

GAB started with an initial capital base of over $21 million.

The International Finance Corporation acquired 16% of its shares for $5 million in 2012. GAB  has also won awards for its banking products and services.

Its foundation, the GAB Foundation, is also focused on promoting economic and social growth in Kenya.

Rafik Nayed is the Chairman of the GAB board. He is also the Group CEO of Al Salam Bank-Bahrain (ASBB), a Sharia-compliant Bank in the Kingdom of Bahrain.

How is Gulf bank different from conventional banks

Gulf Bank is a full Islamic Bank. This means the bank’s products and services follow the principles of shariah and avoids investing in harmful or “Haram” businesses like gambling, alcohol, casinos etc.

Some activities carried out by conventional banks that are forbidden in Islamic banking are short selling, sale of debt, speculation, etc.

A feature of Islamic banking is RIBA which refers to interest gained from deposits or loans.

RIBA is prohibited in Islamic banking because money has no intrinsic value and wealth is supposed to be gained through risk in Islam e.g trade and investment

Another feature of Islamic banking is Mudharabah, which describes how investment profits are shared between the person providing the capital and the person providing the expertise.

Islamic banks also have Shari’ah boards that ensure that their practices align with Shari’ah.

Gulf Bank generates profits from Shari'ah-compliant trading and investment activities. They also share the profit with their customers at a pre-agreed ratio.

The GAB Foundation

The Gulf African foundation was established by the Gulf African Bank (GAB) to create financial and social growth for low-income areas in Kenya.

The GAB Foundation officially launched on the 28th of May, 2016.

The foundation's programs are focused on 3 main areas: education, socio-economic welfare, and health.

Since its establishment, The GAB Foundation has supported 1,559 underprivileged students through its Shari’ah Bursary Scheme.

The foundation has also sponsored some medical camps in Kenya and contributed to charitable causes like the KSBF and Nairobi Hospice annual charity walk.

Prof Mohamed Salim is the foundation’s board of trustees chairman.

You can learn more about the GAB Foundation, its goals and its accomplishments here.

Gulf African Bank products and services

Gulf African Bank (GAB) offers financial products and services to both individuals and businesses.

These products and services are split into two main categories: personal and business banking products.

Gulf African Bank personal bank accounts

GAB offers savings and current accounts to individuals residing in Kenya. Some of its personal bank account products are:

Infinite personal account

This is a current account that can be opened in Kenyan Shillings, US Dollars, Pounds, or Euros.

Infinite personal account holders also enjoy access to relationship managers and personalised advice from the bank.

The bank charges a monthly fee of Ksh 2500 ($21.25) to the account.

Requirements
  • A valid means of identification (national ID, passport, military certificate, or foreign certificate)
  • One passport photograph
  • Your KRA PIN

You can open the account by visiting any Gulf Bank Africa bank branch near you with the required documents or by filling out the “Open an account” form here.

ME account

This is a pay-as-you-go current account that can be opened in Kenyan Shillings, US Dollars, Pounds, or Euros.

A minimum amount of KES 1000 ($8.50) is required to open the account and GAB charges Ksh 30 ($0.25) for each transaction.

Requirements
  • A valid means of identification (national ID, passport, military certificate, or foreign certificate)
  • One passport photograph
  • Your KRA PIN

You can open the account by visiting any Gulf Bank Africa bank branch near you with the required documents or by filling out the “Open an account” form here.

Salary account

This is a GAB current account for individuals that earn a monthly income.

Salary account owners also get access to a dedicated relationship manager and loans from the bank.

The account can be opened in Kenyan Shillings, US Dollars, Pounds, or Euros.

A minimum amount of KES 1000 ($8.50) is required to open the account and GAB charges a monthly fee of Ksh 300 ($2.55) to the account.

Requirements
  • A valid means of identification (national ID, passport, military certificate, or foreign certificate)
  • One passport photograph
  • Your KRA PIN

You can open the account by visiting any Gulf Bank Africa bank branch near you with the required documents or by filling out the “Open an account” form here.

Goal account

This is a savings account for individuals that want to save for a particular need or occasion.

Funds can be locked in the account’s savings plan for 6 months to 5 years.  

A minimum amount of Ksh 500 ($4.25) is required to open the account.

Requirements
  • A valid means of identification (national ID, passport, military certificate, or foreign certificate)
  • One passport photograph
  • Your KRA PIN

You can open the account by visiting any Gulf Bank Africa bank branch near you with the required documents or by filling out the “Open an account” form here

KUZA savings account

This is a savings account that earns interest based on a  Mudharaba agreement between GAB and the account owner.

The account can be opened in Kenyan Shillings, US Dollars, Euros, and Pounds.

The bank pays the profit earned by the account quarterly on amounts above Kshs 50,000 ($424.99)

Requirements
  • A valid means of identification (national ID, passport, military certificate, or foreign certificate)
  • One passport photograph
  • Your KRA PIN

You can open the account by visiting any Gulf Bank Africa bank branch near you with the required documents or by filling the “Open an account” form here

Other accounts offered by GAB are Fixed deposit account, Hajj account, Sasa children’s account, and Annisa.

Gulf African Bank personal financing

These are Gulf African Bank (GAB) loans tailored to meet the needs of individuals living in Kenya. Some of GABs personal loan products are:

Personal finance loans

These are loans that can be used to pay bills or purchase goods.

You can borrow a minimum amount of Ksh 20,000 ($170) and a maximum amount of Ksh 3 million ($25,499.36).

Infinity account owners can borrow up to Ksh 5 million (42,498.94.

Requirements
  • A signed and filled out loan application form
  • Your payslips from the last 3 months
  • A letter of introduction from your employer
  • Your bank statement for the last 3 months
  • Directions to your place of residence
  • A copy of  your ID or passport
  • A copy of your KRA PIN Certificate
  • One passport photograph
  • Additional documents like the school fees structure, medical bill/quotation or a proforma invoice

Home finance

These are loans for Kenyans that want to build or buy a house.

GABs home finance loans are based on diminishing Musharaka Sharia’h Agreement. The loan also has a maximum repayment period of 20 years.

Requirements
  • A signed and filled out facility application form
  • A signed sales agreement or vendors offer letter or draft sales agreement
  • Your payslips from the last 3 months
  • A copy of the property’s title deed
  • A letter of introduction from your employer
  • Your bank statement for the last 6 months
  • A copy of  your ID or passport
  • A copy of your KRA PIN Certificate
  • One passport photograph

Other types of personal finance loans are auto finance, construction finance, and personal plot finance

You can apply for a GAB personal loan online or by visiting a GAB branch near you with the required documents.

Gulf African Bank’s business & corporate solutions

Gulf African Bank is focused on providing financial services to SMEs in Kenya. Some of its business and corporate banking solutions are

SME accounts

These are bank accounts for businesses operating in Kenya. Some of GABs SME accounts are:

Jiinue current account

This is a pay-as-you-go current account for businesses. Businesses also get access to unsecured loans, a paybill/ till number, and other benefits from GAB bank.

A minimum amount of KES 1000 ($8.50) is required to open the account and GAB charges Ksh 30 ($0.25) for each transaction.

Requirements
  • A valid means of identification (national ID, passport, military certificate, or foreign certificate)
  • One passport photograph
  • Your KRA PIN

Businesses can open a Jiinue account by visiting any Gulf Bank Africa bank branch with the required documents or by filling the “Open an account” form here.

Personal business account

This is a business account for sole proprietorships or micro-businesses.

Personal business accounts enjoy free transfers within the bank’s branches, access to a paybill/till number, and 2- free transactions every month.

A minimum amount of KES 2000 ($17.00) is required to open the account.  GAB also charges a fee of Ksh 500 ($4.25) every month.

Requirements
  • A valid means of identification (national ID, passport, military certificate, or foreign certificate)
  • One passport photograph
  • Your PIN certificate
  • A copy of the business/your utility bill

Businesses can opena personal bank account by visiting any Gulf Bank Africa bank branch with the required documents or by filling the “Open an account” form here.

SME business account

This is a business account for growing businesses that plan to expand in the future.

SME business accounts enjoy access to GABs business, finance and investment products.

They also get access to a relationship manager and paybill/till number. A minimum amount of KES 2000 ($17.00) is required to open the account.

GAB also charges a monthly fee of Ksh 400 ($3.40) to the account.

Requirements

The required documents depend on the type of business.

For sole proprietorships
  • A valid means of identification (national ID, passport, military certificate, or foreign certificate)
  • One passport photograph
  • A copy of your KRA PIN certificate
  • A copy of your utility bill
  • An introduction letter from an existing customer or a copy of your latest utility bill
For limited liability companies
  • A copy of the business memorandum and articles of association
  • A certificate of Incorporation
  • Two passport photographs of the account’s authorised signatories
  • A copy of the national ID or passport of the account’s authorised signatories
  • A copy of the company’s KRA PIN certificate

Businesses can open the account by visiting any Gulf Bank Africa bank with the required documents or by filling outthe “Open an account” form here

Other types of business and corporate accounts are Umma current account and Biashara current account.

Business and corporate financing

Gulf African Bank offers loans and trade products to businesses and corporations operating in Kenya.

The maximum loan amount and requirements depend on the type of loan.

GAB business and corporate loans are split into 2 main categories: business financing and corporate financing.

GAB’s loan products for businesses are:

GAB’s loan products for corporations are:

Businesses and corporations can learn more and apply for these products by visiting a Gulf Bank branch.

Diaspora banking

Gulf African Bank (GAB) also offers shariah-compliant financial products and services to Kenyans living abroad. GAB’s diaspora banking products are

GAB diaspora bank account

Kenyans living abroad can open a GAB current or savings account from anywhere in the world.

Account owners also enjoy free transfers to other GAB accounts and their beneficiaries.

A minimum amount of Kes 5,000, $100, £100, and €100 is required to open the account.

How to open a GAB diaspora account

You need the following documents:

  • A filled and signed GAB diaspora account opening form. You can download the form here
  • A copy of your national ID card or passport
  • A copy of your PIN certificate
  • Proof of address (utility bill, driver’s license, etc.)

The documents must be verified by either of the following bodies:

  • A Notary Public
  • A Kenyan embassy or high commission
  • A foreign bank
  • A GAB diaspora agent or staff member
  • Your employer

You can open a diaspora account at any GAB branch in Kenya or send the required documents to the following address:

Gulf African Bank

P.O. Box 43683-00100, Nairobi

Geminia Insurance Plaza, 1st Floor

Kilimanjaro Avenue, Mara Road-Upper Hill

Diaspora mortgage

This is a loan for Kenyans in the diaspora interested in building or buying a house in Kenya.

The loan can also be used to purchase land for commercial and personal use.  

There are 3 types of GAB diaspora mortgage: plot finance, mortgage finance, and construction mortgage.

Required documents

  • Your pay slips for the last 3 months
  • A letter from your employer confirming your employment status. The letter must clearly explain the terms of your employment, retirement age, and salary.
  • A copy of your work permit and visa
  • Proof that you reside abroad (rental payments or title deed)
  • Your Kenyan passport
  • Notarized documents done by a Kenyan embassy, notary public, or current banker
  • Proof of your other source of income
  • Utility bills and bank statements for the last 6 months
  • Your PIN certificate
  • An active GAB account
  • Three passport photographs
  • A copy of the title or deed of the property or land to be purchased
  • Other documents as requested by the bank

GAB bank also offers remittance services, insurance and investment products to Kenyans in the diaspora.

You can learn more about GABs diaspora financial products by sending an email to gab.diasporabanking@gab.co.ke.

Ways to bank

Gulf African Bank (GAB) customers can access their account and other bank services through GABs cards, mobile, and internet banking platforms.

Gulf African Bank cards

GAB offers credit and debit cards to its account holders. The GAB Awwal credit card is shariah-compliant as it does not earn interest from the bank.  

GAB Awwal credit card users also enjoy special discounts from GAB discount partners. You can view the list of the bank’s discount partners here

You can apply for a GAB credit or debit card by visiting a Gulf African Bank branch near you.

You can also apply for an Awwal credit card by sending “AWWAL” to 21981.

Gulf African Bank’s mobile banking (GABPesa app and *399#)

Customers can access Gulf African Bank’s services with their mobile phone via the GABPesa app and GAB’s USSD code (*339#).

With *339# and the GABPesa app, you can:

  • Manage your GAB bank account
  • Locate a GAB branch or ATM near you
  • Transfer funds to other accounts and mobile money wallets
  • Buy airtime
  • Pay your bills

How to register for Gulf African Bank’s mobile banking

  • Visit any Gulf African Bank near you to fill out an application form. It takes a maximum of two days to receive a confirmation SMS from GAB bank.
  • After registration, you will receive an SMS with your name and a link to download the GABPesa app. You can also download the GABPesa app from the Playstore and Appstore.
  • Login to the GABPesa app with the login details that were sent to your phone OR dial *399# and follow the prompts on your screen.

How to transfer money from MPesa to Gulf African Bank

  • Open the Lipa na M-pesa menu
  • Select Paybill
  • Input Gulf African Bank’s paybill number (985050)
  • Input the recipient’s GAB account number
  • Input the amount you want to send
  • Select Ok to confirm the transaction

Gulf African Bank’s internet banking (GABNet)

Gulf African Bank’s individual and business customers can access and manage their GAB account via the bank’s internet banking portal (GABNet).

With GABNet, you can:

  • View your account balance and statement
  • Make local and international payments and transfers
  • Process batch payments
  • Open a new GAB bank account
  • Request for cards and chequebooks
  • View GAB’s e-rates

How to register for Gulf African Bank’s internet banking (GABNet)

You can visit a Gulf African Bank branch near you OR

  • Download the application form here
  • Send the filled and signed form to customercare@gab.co.ke
  • You will receive an email with your login credentials and how to activate your account
  • Login to GABNet and follow the instructions in the email. Individual account holders can login here while business account holders can login here

Frequently asked questions

What is Gulf African Bank contact information

Gulf African Bank head office: Geminia Insurance Plaza, First Floor, Upperhill Nairobi

Telephone number: 0202740000

You can find a Gulf African Bank near you here. You can also find a Gulf African Bank  ATM here

What is Gulf African Bank’s paybill number

Gulf African Bank's paybill number is 985050

What is a CIF number

A CIF number is the first eight digits of your Gulf African Bank account number.

What is Gulf African Bank’s customer care number

You can call +254711075000 or 0202740000 to speak with a GAB customer care agent or fill out the customer feedback form on their website here.

You can also send an email to customercare@gab.co.ke or a Whatsapp message to 0729111537.

What is Gulf African Bank’s SWIFT code

GAFRKENA

What is Gulf African Bank’s website

You can visit the Gulf African Bank website here.

You can also visit the bank’s Meta (Facebook), Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, and Instagram pages.

What is Gulf African Bank’s USSD code

Simply dial *339# to access Gulf Bank Africa mobile banking services.

Conclusions

Gulf African Bank is a good option if you are a Muslim or interested in Islamic Banking products.

The bank’s website is easy to navigate and it also does a good job of explaining how its products are Shariah-compliant.

Sources

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_African_Bank