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UAE launches 1st independent digital banking platform

7-03-2021, 14:28 World
UAE launches 1st independent digital banking platform


7 March 2021, 14:28 - NovostiNK
The United Arab Emirates launched the first independent digital banking platform on Sunday - a neobank hoping to become a leader in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia, Reuters reported.

Dubai-based YAP neobank does not have a banking license but is partnered with RAK ​​Bank which provides international bank account numbers to YAP users and secures their funds under its own banking license.

YAP, like other neobanks without physical branches, does not offer traditional banking services such as loans and mortgages but offers cost and budgeting analytics, peer-to-peer payments, and money transfer and bill payment services.

YAP is in the process of establishing partnerships with banks in other countries, said product head Katral-Nada Hassan, including with banks in Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, and Ghana.

Global digital banking leaders like Revolut, one of the fastest-growing apps in the world, have no branches in the UAE.

Several UAE banks have launched their own digital banking offerings in recent years targeting younger users: LIV by Emirates NBD and Mashreq Neo by Mashreq Bank.

State-owned holding company ADQ in Abu Dhabi said last year that it plans to create a neo-bank using the banking license of the country's largest lender, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB).

“The fintech revolution has become very popular in other parts of the world and we saw a gap and unique need for this service in the Middle East,” said YAP CEO and founder Marwan Hachem

YAP is in the seed funding phase of the founders, a private equity firm, and private investors. More than 20,000 customers have already pre-registered and will be gradually opening accounts over the coming weeks.



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