Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, the emirate’s biggest Sharia-compliant lender, launched an integrated digital car ecosystem on Monday that provides all services required by consumers in their car purchase journey on a single platform.
The Turbo platform (Turbo.auto), which went live with 775 listings on Monday, includes dealers of both new and used cars, insurance companies, financial services comparison website yallacompare and ADIB, which provides auto finance.
“We understand that the consumers' journey, when they purchase or sell a car, involves interacting with many stakeholders,” Philip King, global head of retail banking at ADIB, said.
“With the use of technology and artificial intelligence, you can use Turbo to do it all on one platform. It’s a first for this market and the first such platform for an Islamic bank globally.”
In March, about six out of 10 UAE consumers were considering whether to buy a car in the next six months, with price and value for money being key considerations, according to a dubizzle report.
The UAE’s used car market ended the year on a positive note despite a decrease in sales caused by coronavirus-induced movement restrictions, the classified listing portal’s Used Car Market Report for 2020 found.
The UAE used car market is expected to experience double-digit growth over the next four years, to reach a market size of $18.2 billion by 2025 from $14.2bn in 2020, according to research by Frost & Sullivan.
ADIB's Turbo ecosystem allows customers to book a test drive, buy a new car, get an insurance offer, apply for car finance with ADIB or sell their car to used car dealers on the platform.
Turbo, which will offer both premium and affordable cars for sale, was launched in partnership with Drive Ninja and dealers such as Al Masaood Automobile, Al Ghandi, You Drive, Carasti and Car 24, according to a statement from ADIB on Monday. More dealers and service providers will be added later, the lender said.
“The ecosystem enables us to position ADIB beyond just finance and banking services. It positions us as a bank that brings together people and industries they need to interact with on a daily basis on one platform,” Mr King said.
The ecosystem will later expand into car rentals, maintenance and servicing, car import and export, car registration, traffic payments and roadside assistance, he added, with non-ADIB customers also allowed to use the platform.
“Now is the time for us to leverage our digital tools and well-connected networks so we can open more such new and innovative platforms that will change the way UAE consumers buy their cars,” Adam Whitnall, co-founder and chief executive of Drive Ninja, said.
An on-site car budget calculator will provide the estimated finance amount buyers are eligible for and then offer a list of cars based on their budget, according to the lender’s statement.
The Turbo platform will not deal in person-to-person sales. If an individual wishes to sell a car, they can fill their details on the website and listed dealers will approach them with a quote. The seller can decide if they want to accept the quote or not, Mr King said.
Customers do not need to make any payment to list a car for sale and ADIB does not charge a fee for a sales transaction on the Turbo platform. The bank will only charge a fee if it finances the car purchase, the lender said.
“Auto finance is an important product for our Emirati customer base. We have a 14 per cent market share in the UAE auto finance market,” Mr King said.
“We have seen double-digit growth in car sales since the pandemic. We are comfortable that the market is bouncing back.”
ADIB has been investing extensively to build its digital offerings over the past few years as it seeks to attract more tech-savvy millennial customers and generate cost savings.
In August this year, ADIB partnered with the Ministry of Interior to allow customers to open accounts remotely and digitally through facial recognition, becoming the first lender in the country to offer this service.
In the same month, ADIB also launched a digital-only bank to tap into the UAE’s growing segment of tech-savvy youths. The bank, known as Amwali (which means my money in Arabic), will sign up Generation Z youths between the ages of 8 and 18 through a smartphone app that comes with a debit card that can be connected to Apple Pay and other mobile wallets.