Digital-Only Banks: 101 Paperless Banks Are On A Roll In The UAE

We are in a time where a bank account can be opened at 10pm in less than five minutes from the comfort of your bed. Welcome to the digital-only banks era.

The UAE’s largest banks are now adapting to the digital course bringing substantial changes in how the banking industry works and with banks embracing a digital footprint, the future of banking looks very exciting.

Gone are those days when digital banking was only restricted to fund transfers and keeping a check on account details. In just under 2 to 3 years, banking apps have changed 360 degrees and are continuously upgrading their features to make banking even more convenient, fun and yes of course, paperless. In the modern era, you can transfer funds to friends through social media, can print your own debit and credit cards and can even enjoy a plethora of lifestyle promotions for making a move to digital banks. All you need to have is a smartphone to get started.

Here’s what digital banks look like in the UAE

Liv. - Digital-only bank by Emirates NBD

Emirates NBD launched the digital-only bank Liv. two years ago in 2017. The app targets the millennial generation, with an intuitive and simple to use format. The app allows customers to open accounts in minutes and transfer funds into their accounts immediately. The app is reported to have crossed the customer base of 200,000 within 24 months.

Explaining the current generation digital banking app, Jayesh Patel, Head of Liv. says, “Liv. is the region’s first lifestyle-focused digital-only bank by Emirates NBD, built with the connected generation’s needs and preferences in mind. The app-based bank is the fastest growing bank in the UAE, acquiring over 10,000 new customers every month.”

Key benefits of the app

Open a bank account in less than five minutes
With this app, you can open your bank account wherever you are, not where the bank is. Jayesh Patel of Liv. says, “You can open a Liv. account faster than you finish your sandwich. All you need is a smart phone, a valid UAE mobile number, valid Emirates ID Card, and 18 years behind you. Thanks to this easy process, it’s no surprise that more than 40% of Liv. accounts are opened between 8pm and 8am, when most banks are closed. We also ask you to indicate your personal preferences when signing up, enabling us to offer you a curated daily feed of news, deals and offers based on your interests.”

Lifestyle app for your finances
Jayesh Patel of Liv. says, “Liv. is banking designed around your life. A first of its kind in the region, it’s a lifestyle-first banking app that works around what you like and how you spend your time and money. Liv. works as your financial buddy, helping you save more and manage your finances better. In addition to an attractive 2% return on your account balance, you also receive personal insights into where you spend and how frequently. This helps you easily track and compare your expenses over months, merchants or categories - taking the pain out of managing money.”

Lifestyle promotions
Liv. customers can benefit from a number of lifestyle promotions which are customised as per their needs and requirements. Jayesh Patel adds, “[Member] enjoy discounts at their favourite restaurants, getaways, activities and more!"

Digitally help you save
“If those monthly expenses are adding up and you’re finding it hard to save, Liv. Goals helps you set aside spare cash and save for what a specific goal, whether it’s saving for a rainy day or taking a much-anticipated holiday. Can’t imagine living without your phone? Liv. lets you insure your mobile in a completely paper-free process from policy purchase to claim. What’s more, you can earn rewards for no claims made - all at a fraction of the cost of a new smartphone”, Jayesh Patel says.

Key features
• A minimum salary transfer of Dhs 4,000 or maintenance of monthly balance of Dhs 2,500
• Minimum age should be 18 years old
• Provides lifestyle, dining and travel benefits
• Monthly charges of Dhs 15 for non-maintenance of minimum balance

Mashreq Neo

Mashreq Bank launched Mashreq Neo, a new full-service digital bank in October 2017 targeted towards the digitally savvy generation looking for brilliant digital solutions. Mashreq Neo payment capabilities, such as Samsung Pay wallet, Mashreq Pay wallet, International bill payment to over 100 countries, cardless cash from ATMs, Mobile-to-Mobile transfers and remittances locally and globally. In addition it also offers customers access to a global shopping portal where they will have access to a wide range of merchants from different countries.

Key features and benefits
• Salary transfer is not mandatory
• A minimum age of 21 years is required
• Only UAE residents are eligible
• Provides lifestyle, dining and travel benefits
• A minimum salary of Dhs 5,000 is required
• No charges on non-maintenance of minimum balance in the account
• Get cashback up to Dhs 400 on maintaining minimum balance of Dhs 3,000
• Get free debit card and cheque book
• Get gold currency account for free

ADCB Hayyak

• The new entrant in the market is Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank’s ( ADCB) paperless account app in the UAE called ADCB Hayyak. Enabling customers to quickly and conveniently open an ADCB account and receive their debit cards and cheque books, without having to visit a branch or complete any paperwork. To become an ADCB customer, simply enter a few basic details on the app, scan identification documents and upload a signature. As an introductory welcome offer, those who open a bank account via ADCB Hayyak will also qualify for up to 250,000 ADCB TouchPoints from the bank’s award winning loyalty programme, which can 
be used for free flights, shopping and much more.

Key features and benefits
• Salary transfer is not mandatory
• A minimum age of 21 years is required
• Only UAE residents are eligible
• Apply for a credit card and get an instant decision

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