The UAE bank account that claims to make you happy

Mashreq has launched the UAE's first Happiness Account, which offers up to Dh2,500 cash as soon as the first salary is transferred.

Mashreq has launched the UAE’s first Happiness Account. Courtesy Mashreq
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Money can’t buy you happiness, right?

Wrong, says one UAE bank, which is hoping its latest salary transfer account will make its customers smile.

Mashreq created its Happiness Account in honour of the UAE’s ongoing goal to make us all more cheerful.

“We thought why don’t we build something that is contributing to this aspect and we could be the first bank which has actually thought about a proposition which could actually make people happy,” says Tooran Asif, Mashreq’s head of personal banking.

“Happiness is obviously a very broad subject which has many things to it and money is not the only thing that makes people happy. But money is one aspect that makes people happy.”

So how does the account work?

Well, once the first salary from your UAE employer is transferred to your happiness account you will receive a one-off payment of Dh500 if you earn between Dh10,000 and Dh25,000, Dh1,000 if you earn between Dh25,000 to Dh50,000 and Dh2,500 if you earn more than that.

You will get more free money for either paying utility bills or sending cash at least five times a month, which will earn you Dh25 a month up to a maximum of Dh300 a year. In addition, you receive two free remittances and a free entry into a draw to win up to Dh100,000 each month.

“Doesn’t it make you happy?” asks Mr Asif.

I would be a lot happier if the bank wired me the one-off payment regularly, I reply.

“The important thing is people will realise they get rewarded for just opening a relationship with the bank, doing transactions that they already do and they never get anything from any other bank. They also get free remittances. They are also part of a draw. All of this is quite value added and different from what the market offers,” he says.

Mr Asif insists there is no catch. The same fees and charges apply for regular salary transfer accounts with Mashreq and you don’t even have to go into a branch to open the account since you can apply online. More reasons to be cheerful, he says.

Response to the account, which was launched around two weeks ago, has been good, although Mr Asif refuses to reveal how many have signed up.

“The response has been far better than what we have seen in the pre-happiness era,” he adds. “We see more customers calling in, more customers walking into the branch and customers are also applying through this new method of e-account opening which wasn’t the case.”

And needless to say, this all makes Mr Asif a very happy man.