• Innovation & Transformation
    • Digital Adoption

Oman’s Social Insurance Authority gets digital overhaul

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With HSBC’s expertise, PASI migrated to a fully digital virtual accounts solution, saving time and labour.

Oman’s Public Authority for Social Insurance (PASI) has recently undergone a radical digital transformation, becoming in 2019 the first public sector organisation in the GCC to adopt digital receivables management solutions and virtual accounts.

In another instalment of HSBC’s specialised webinar series, Yousuf Al Hadhrami, PASI’s Head of Budgets and Accounts, and Aliya Al Hinai, their Head of Revenue and Treasury, shared lessons from the journey.

No more manual processing

PASI, which oversees social insurance for over 255,000 Omanis across the GCC, faced numerous challenges in payments, receivables and reconciliations before embarking on the transformation with HSBC.

With nine accounts in different Omani banks and five in other GCC countries, the manual processing of payments and reconciliations was cumbersome.

Transfer letters needed to be sent at specific times of the day and PASI’s system was updated manually, leading to huge problems identifying incoming payments from employers.

“Our account receivables staff was suffering, spending too much time in following these amounts, too much time in doing reconciliations. The number of unknown amounts just became too big,” says Al Hinai.

“Now we have electronic payment and collections channels, and reconciliations are done automatically. It is like a dream, we can do payments anytime we want from anywhere we want,” she says.

HSBC’s unique expertise

PASI selected HSBC to implement its transformation project, benefitting further from the bank’s latest technology and expertise. PASI was the first public sector organisation to go live on the innovative digital banking HSBCnet platform in 2018.

“As a local bank with an international footprint, we were able to offer PASI a tailored solution to bring new levels of efficiency, particularly ensuring the effective processing of large volumes of payments and receivables through a secure integrated connection with the bank,” says Melika Betley, CEO at HSBC Oman.

“Over the past 10 years, digital innovation has been and remains at the top of our agenda. Supporting our clients’ needs has always been a key priority,” she says.

Having invested billions of dollars on enhancing its digital solutions in the last decade, HSBC is the ideal partner for companies and public sector organisations looking to streamline and optimise treasury operations.

Virtual accounts

After the integration of its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system with HSBC in 2018, PASI introduced virtual accounts to track contributions from companies with Omani employees. The project took about six months to complete.

“We assign a unique virtual account number to a specific company, which works like an ID number and helps us identify any amount paid by that company,” says Al Hinai.

The implementation of HSBC’s virtual accounts to collect pension contributions eliminated the problem of unknown amounts. In Oman alone, there are some 15,860 active employers, according to PASI.

Innovative solutions

The authority now plans to open virtual accounts in other GCC counties, providing companies with more flexibility to transfer pension contributions in their own currencies.

In addition to launching a faster payment gateway for companies in June 2021, PASI also intends to provide mobile payment options and direct debit solutions.

“PASI is looking to have 100 percent automatic collection and reconciliation by the end of this year, from about 95 percent currently,” says Al Hadhrami.

“It is now very easy for us to reconcile, and most importantly, it solved the unknown amounts, which is the issue most pension funds are facing. We are open to any new technology that might make our life easier, and very happy to work with HSBC,” he says.

As the world emerges from the pandemic, the most resilient organisations are looking to innovate and invest in digital transformation. Across the GCC region, the past two years have shown the benefits that digital technology can bring to a business at times of adversity.

HSBC’s regional operations span more than 120 years, including over 70 years in Oman. The bank plays a key role in partnering businesses and organisations to select and provide the best digital innovative solutions, including moving to real-time payments and mobile collections.

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