UAE Sees First Digital Bank For SMBs

Emirates NBD Launches Digital Bank E20.

Emirates banking group Emirates NBD has announced the creation of E20., a digital bank for the region, according to a release by the company.

The new venture is geared toward entrepreneurs and small-and-medium sized businesses (SMBs). It will have a mobile app and provide different services necessary to carry out banking needs.

“Emirates NBD has a shared commitment to the growth and development of young businesses in the UAE and we are pleased to be launching E20.,” said Emirates NBD Vice Chairman and Managing Director Hesham Abdulla Al Qassim. He described it as a “custom-built digital business bank that will support the courage of entrepreneurs and enable start-ups as well as emerging and established small business owners to access banking services and more, seamlessly and conveniently, helping them focus more of their time on growing their business.” 

A recent study on the region showed that almost 65 percent of entrepreneurs in the UAE think banking is their biggest challenge. It also takes about three months, in some cases, to open a bank account. 

E20. wants to let customers 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.

Customers will also have access to a checkbook and debit card and be able to use Emirates NBD ATMs for daily banking needs.

“The E20. digital business bank has been developed by a dedicated team of business banking professionals and digital technologists who engaged with potential customers to understand their needs and cater to their specific banking and financial management requirements as UAE business owners,” said Shayne Nelson, Group CEO of Emirates NBD. “The new bank will have seamless digital account opening which leverages new local advancements such as e-KYC modules as well as the UAE Pass for digital biometric-based identification along with easy, intuitive tools. E20. will help business owners manage their finances and cash flows efficiently and in an affordable manner while also powering their decision-making and growth plans.”  

E20. will launch through an invite-only beta, which will last through the first quarter of 2020.