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Dubai to invest Dh1 billion to launch the region’s first digital bank

Global investment holding company Dubai Holding has announced that it will invest up to Dh1 billion over the next five years to launch a next generation digital bank for the UAE. The digital bank will also expand services across the Middle East and North Africa region in the future.

Given the UAE’s high mobile penetration rate, Dubai Holding’s digital bank will aim to serve as a platform to facilitate digital transactions and accelerate the drive towards a cashless society and facilitate the exchange of data and insights between individuals and businesses.

The Digital Bank will also provide an on-demand, fully customisable and engaging experience to both individuals and businesses. The Digital Bank will offer unique perks and services to users, as well as providing bespoke banking services that extend beyond the traditional bank offering.

“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, in support of the vision of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai’s for a smarter and cashless society,” said Mr Abdulla Al Habbai, Chairman of Dubai Holding.

The announcement says that apart from serving individual consumers, the Digital Bank will be “amongst the first pure play digital player in the UAE” to serve the small and medium-size enterprise (SME) segment, as Dubai Holding believes that SMEs are the primary driver of the Dubai economy.

The Digital Bank by Dubai Holding plans to address key SME pain points through transparent reporting across all SME accounts, cash management platform linked to receivables, payroll and payments.

According to the press release, the bank’s first products are expected to debut in 2019.

The initiative to set up a digital bank is in line with UAE’s goal of becoming a cashless digital economy and the vision for Smart Dubai.

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