The UAE is set to open its first digital-only bank
The cashless institution is will open its (virtual) doors sometime in 2019
Global investment holding company Dubai Holding has unveiled plans to launch the UAE’s first digital bank.
Unlike a traditional brick and mortar establishment, the bank will be completely online, and leverage Dubai Holding’s ecosystem of work, play, live offerings to provide perks and services to its customers.
The Dubai-based firm announced via an official statement that it will invest upwards of Dhs1 billion in the venture over the next five years in support of HH Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum’s vision of helping the country become a cashless economy.
.@dubaiholding announces its plan to invest up to AED 1 billion over the course of the next 5 years to launch a next generation digital bank for the #UAE, with plans to expand services across the MENA region. The bank’s first products are expected to debut in 2019. pic.twitter.com/1oL007gLUk
— Dubai Media Office (@DXBMediaOffice) May 7, 2018
“Through our investment in Dubai Holding Digital Bank, 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.” said HE Abdulla Al Habbai, Chairman at Dubai Holding.
The UAE has one of the highest smartphone penetration rates in the world, so a bank where you manage everything through your phone not only seems completely plausible, but also a bit of a no-brainer.
What are some of the benefits of a digital-only bank?
According to financial education website, Investopedia, an exclusively online bank comes with a number of perks.
Firstly, there’s the matter of convenience: “Direct banks are open for business anywhere there is an internet connection.” Digital-only banks typically also offer a more comprehensive set of services that physical banks may not be able to provide via their website.
And then, of course, because a digital bank doesn’t have to pay for traditional overhead costs, it can lead to better interest rates for its customers and even allow for no minimum balance or service fees.
That last part sounds especially attractive to us. We’ll have to wait and see what Dubai Holding’s digital bank offers when it opens its (virtual) doors in 2019.