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Top UAE fleet provider expands with HSBC’s all-inclusive solutions

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Al Salaam Limousine’s expansion plans are on track thanks to HSBC’s bespoke solutions from sustainability, lending, employee banking and treasury streamlining.

Around the world, businesses are searching for tailor-made, innovative solutions to streamline operations, implement ambitious growth plans and transition to a more sustainable future. Thanks to HSBC’s all-inclusive banking solutions, Al Salaam Limousine is on the road to efficiency, expansion and sustainability.

One of the UAE’s top limousine and driver supplier companies, Al Salaam Limousine services ride-hailing providers such as Uber, Careem and Yango. Its operations are based in Dubai, with its own vehicles also available outside many of the city’s top hotels.

The company has grown rapidly since its inception in 2009, from some 200 cars to a current fleet of 2,000 cars and over 4,000 drivers. About two-thirds of its fleet is hybrid and a quarter electric.

To expand its fleet, Al Salaam sought an international banking partner that offered scalability with green loan financing. The company also needed a banking solution that would allow its drivers to receive salaries and commissions and transfer money to their home countries.

Holistic banking solution

HSBC secured a New-To-Bank (NTB) mandate from Al Salaam, working over a seven-month period to deliver an all-inclusive holistic solution.

To support Al Salaam’s ambitious growth plans, HSBC brought together different lines of business, green financing expertise, its extensive global network and diverse global payables and receivables solutions.

“Not only did we leverage a cross-sell opportunity via a client referral, but this deal also represents a fantastic partnership between HSBC business lines in working together to design an overall banking service model,” Deepak O Java, Relationship Manager, corporate banking at HSBC notes.

Initial discussions focused on green lending and employee banking, which were followed by a Global Payments Solutions (GPS) engagement to build a payments and receivables solution. The result? A complete, bespoke banking service/solution.

Green financing

The talks resulted in a U.S.$10 million green loan from HSBC to purchase over 250 new electric and hybrid limousines in 2023 and full digital transformation of Al Salaam’s treasury.

The green facility aligns with Al Salaam’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) agenda on electric vehicles and with the UAE government’s sustainability plans. It also confirms HSBC’s global commitment to net zero and the provision of U.S.$750 billion to U.S.$1 trillion in sustainable financing by 2030.

We found a great partner in HSBC and are thrilled to benefit from such a comprehensive bespoke package of treasury transformation along with green financing and employee banking solutions, which are all crucial to our expansion drive.

Muhammed Nabil | Group CFO at Al Salaam Limousine

The company will benefit from a wide range of retail and corporate banking services, including lending, cash management and an employee banking solution, all through a single banking partner.

Employee banking made easy

HSBC Wealth and Personal Banking (WPB) opened personal banking accounts for the company’s drivers and sent banking representatives to set up a dedicated counter service within the client’s headquarters.

Between 75 and 100 accounts are being opened daily, with a target of 6 to 8 weeks to completion, with drivers benefiting from preferential pricing to transfer funds to their home country.

HSBC also streamlined driver salaries and commission payments, moving away from cash and C3 cards to an online Wages Protection Scheme (WPS) and non-WPS methods via HSBCnet file upload.

Centralised treasury solutions

On the treasury front, Al Salaam was looking to move from manual to digital processes, streamlining its receivables cash management needs and facilitating electronic driver and vendor payments. The company also required a fully centralized treasury hub.

HSBC’s centralised treasury solution ensures that full payments and receivables are performed via HSBCnet, an innovative single banking platform.

Receivables have been centralised, moving the company’s current cash management requirement from manual to digital. This matches its diversified collection methods, including cash, point of sale (POS) and incoming wire transfers.

Cash collections are now supported by HSBC’s Smart Cash Deposit Machine (SCDM). One large unit was installed at Al Salaam’s headquarters, eliminating manual handling and human errors of cash transactions.

Together with HSBC’s latest Remote Cheque Printing solution, it provides comprehensive reconciliation through enhanced reporting, and reduces administrative workload in terms of cheque issuances.

HSBC is also providing a real-time payment solution for driver commissions and workshops across the UAE, plus WPS payments to drivers’ bank accounts within HSBC. In addition, business debit cards allow Al Salaam to make digital payments to critical vendors such as the RTA, garages, car cleaning services, the Ministry of Labour and driving schools.

To further reduce friction through screening within the payment cycle, HSBC leveraged its array of artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) capabilities for these payments, supplemented by additional whitelisting using payments data post implementation, leading to a sustained positive client experience.

Thanks to HSBC’s payments solution, Al Salaam can now make payments 24/7 – an efficient, highly secure and flexible outcome.

A move from cheques to debit cards has also resulted in a considerable transaction fee reduction, as the number of cheques has shrunk from 1,000 to 300 a month.

“This deal is a great example of an all-inclusive tailor-made solution that matches our products to client needs, showing how we can integrate them to enhance existing client treasury operations,” says Charbel S. Bacha, senior vice president, technology, and the new economies, global payments solutions at HSBC.

Al Salaam is also implementing a new Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, NetSuite. This ERP will be fully integrated with HSBC accounts for real-time balances and simplification of payments. The proposed solution uses Application Programming Interface (API) and is expected to launch in the last quarter of 2024.

Unlock new possibilities with HSBC

With its tailored, flexible and adaptable treasury solutions, HSBC has been working to meet clients’ needs for streamlined and optimised treasury and business operations.

HSBC is well positioned to support business growth plans across multiple countries, thanks to its strong global network and diverse payables and receivables solutions, which Al Salaam will be able to leverage for its future expansion plans in the Gulf Arab region.

Having spent some U.S.$2.3 billion on enhancing its digital solutions over the past 10 years, HSBC is the right partner for companies looking to transform business and treasury operations to fit the future.

The bank’s bespoke solutions, integrated with corporate treasury and payment systems, help unlock new possibilities for businesses, making it easier to manage cash and make more informed daily financial and risk management decisions. They also reduce the risk of fraud and improve overall corporate governance.

Planning to streamline treasury, embark on a sustainability journey or learn more about how our tailor-made solutions can help your business? Talk to our specialist today.

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