Investment conglomerate Dubai Holding plans to invest up to Dh1 billion over the next five years to launch a digital bank for the UAE in line with the country's aim of becoming a cashless digital economy.
The digital bank which aims to expand services across the Middle East and North Africa region will be among the first digital players in the UAE to serve small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and mid-size corporate segment. The company, controlled by the Ruler of Dubai, will leverage its exposure to and understanding of UAE SMEs to create loan and deposit offerings for the sector, it said in an emailed statement.
“SMEs are the primary driver of the Dubai economy and their financial inclusiveness is a key to both Dubai and the UAE success,” the company said. “We plan to address key SME pain points through transparent reporting across all SME accounts, cash management platform linked to receivables, payroll and payments.”
The UAE government and financial institutions in the country are aggressively pushing for digitisation of financial services, moving away from traditional brick and mortar models of business. The move is in line with industry trends globally as corporates look to improve efficiency and reduce costs. A number of banks, including Emirates NBD and Mashreq Bank have invested or are planning to invest substantially on enhancing their digital infrastructure.
Through its backing of the digital bank, Dubai Holding’s aims to provide a state-of-the-art platform to facilitate transactions and facilitate the exchange of data and insights between individuals and businesses.
“We are enabling digital opportunities with the potential to empower individuals and businesses to leverage new financial technologies for additional convenience and to unlock new business opportunities,” Abdulla Al Habbai, said the chairman at Dubai Holding.