The Dubai headquartered banking group, Emirates NBD announced the establishment of the first digital bank in the United Arab Emirates dedicated to entrepreneurs and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The new bank dubbed ‘E20.’ will help startups, freelancers, sole proprietors, gig economy workers, insurtechs, and fintech to open a bank account and carry out their day-to-day banking requirements through a mobile application.
E20. is the second digital bank to be launched by the Emirates NBD following the success of Liv, the region’s first mobile platform that combines banking and modern lifestyle to meet the needs of Millennials and Generation Z.
A recent study on the region showed that almost 65 per cent of the entrepreneurs in the UAE think banking to be their biggest challenge. It also takes about three months, in some cases, to open a bank account. With E20. the customers can open an account quickly and easily, and allow them to do not only local but international transactions, as well as pay bills, all through a smartphone. The customers will also have access to a checkbook and debit card and be able to use Emirates NBD ATMs for daily banking needs.
According to Shane Nelson, Group CEO of Emirates NBD, the E20. digital bank has been developed by a dedicated team of business banking professionals and digital technologists who are engaged with potential consumers to understand their needs and cater to their specific financial management and banking requirements as the UAE company owners. The new bank will have unbroken digital account opening which leverages new local developments such as e-KYC modules as well as the UAE Pass for digital biometric-based identifications along with smooth, intuitive tools. E20. will help entrepreneurs manage their finances and cash flows and in an affordable manner while also powering their decision-making and growth plans.
More SME Tools
E20. will provide entrepreneurs with digital tools to generate an invoice, deliver VAT information, track receivables, view P and L statements, as well as make and reconcile payments to vendors and suppliers. The bank will offer customers 24/7 access to a relationship manager through an in-app live chat capability to support them with any requests they may have. E20. Beta launch will be primarily available by invitations-only to a selected group of business persons allowing them to test critical features. The co-created digital business bank will open the UAE business customers following the successful completion of the beta phase by Q1 2020.
Other Initiatives Taken for SMEs in the UAE
Small and medium-sized businesses make up around 98% of companies in the UAE and their contribution to the country’s GDP is estimated at 53%. With figures like AIM Startup, a UAE Ministry of Economy initiative, and Warm it is no wonder banks are increasingly targeting SMEs with their financial products.
While conventional business debit and credit cards come with higher transaction and withdrawal limits, and often tighter security, financial institutions are now adding a host of other benefits to their products to specifically attract SMEs. For example, last month Noor Bank and First Abu Dhabi Bank rolled out MasterCard’s ‘world’ debit card for SMEs.
Apart from this, as Dubai prepares to host Expo 2020, the largest ever presented in the Arab World, UAE-based trade finance banks are getting prospects to support more startups. Emirates NBD, for one, has brought out a new banking package for UAE SMEs and startups involved in Expo 2020. The kit comprises of preferential pricing and privileges on transactions, working capital, trade finance, foreign exchange and commercial loans, which will be available for entities registered on the Expo 2020 Online Marketplace (OMP)
The UAE government is trying their best to help SMEs in every possible way as they contribute more towards the economy of the country. This opportunity is good enough to start a company in the UAE. We at Commitbiz are here to help you with the procedures. Contact us today to know more.