Launch of Business Banking App Underlines EDB’s Commitment to Creating a Digital Ecosystem for SMBs to Connect and Play, Anywhere in the UAE
Dubai – As part of EDB’s strategy, it will also facilitate an investment arm for startups and SMEs as well as business advisory services such as coaching, consulting, mentoring and market research
Emirates Development Bank (EDB) announced the launch of the EDB Business Banking app, in partnership with YAP, a UAE-based fintech, to support small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) operating in the UAE.
The launch of the app is an integral part of EDB’s new strategy unveiled earlier this year. As part of this strategy, EDB has allocated 30 billion dirhams to expand its financial and non-financial support to SMEs in the UAE over the next five years. The app offers SMEs access to secure, convenient and mobile digital banking services 24/7. Besides, it also offers unparalleled digital bank account user experience. With the application, the IBAN of the professional account is reserved in a few minutes and the activation of the account is carried out in 48 hours. The account is free for everyone, in all emirates, with no minimum balance requirement.
Speaking to the Khaleej Times after the launch, Ahmed Mohamed Al Naqbi, CEO of EDB, noted that the launch of the app is part of EDB’s commitment to innovation and adoption of cutting-edge technologies to help SMEs start up their businesses. The launch follows a period of extensive research, during which EDB observed the main challenges that UAE SMEs continued to face. “We have listened to the challenges of SMEs and have integrated all aspects of their needs into our business banking experience, completely transforming their ability to start businesses quickly and efficiently.
“In my conversations with various government, semi-government, incubator and entrepreneur groups, it was very clear that a common challenge for all was account services and account openings for the SME segment of the market,” a- he noted. “This is the first step for them to start their business in the United Arab Emirates. The big picture is not just about opening an account; opening an account allows them to start transacting and doing business locally here in the UAE. “
Every minute that EDB saves them to open their bank account is a minute that allows them to start a business, Al Naqbi said. Additionally, when an entrepreneur has an account and access to account services, over time he builds a balance sheet and history of his business. This, he stressed, is essential for any entrepreneur looking to raise funds. Having secure and transparent transactions that are properly documented and verified makes it easier for them to present their case and obtain financing.
Through its partnership with YAP, EDB’s Business Banking application will offer a full suite of banking services including: a fully operational business bank account, bill payments, invoicing, budgeting and analytics. The launch of EDB’s Business Banking application follows agreements with the main banks of the United Arab Emirates to provide credit guarantee programs and co-loan agreements, aimed at offering direct and indirect loans to SMEs .
“We are delighted to partner with EDB to create a revolutionary service and application for SMEs seeking a more transparent approach to banking,” said Marwan Hachem, CEO of YAP. “At the heart of all YAP products – for individual customers and businesses – is making their experience pleasant and convenient.”
Asked how the bank would build on the offer going forward, Al Naqbi said: “This is just the starting point. Right now, we face the biggest challenge for SMEs accessing the financial and accounting services they need. However, there is a roadmap for the next few months of additional services and features such as VAT calculation and VAT submission. Any entrepreneur who creates his business for the first time will not be a tax expert, so this will prevent him from being penalized.
“We’re also looking at budgeting tools and payroll services when they start growing their business and adding employees to their team,” he added. “All of these will be rolled out over the next few months to continually improve the application and add value-added services targeted for the SME segment.”
He also stressed that EDB is positioning itself as a development bank that will “play in the right space” by targeting “market gaps”.
“We are not commercial in nature and we are not looking for profitability, so we can get into those underserved segments and meet their needs,” he said. “Entrepreneurs don’t need someone to come and try and make money with them because they’re still at the stage of their business where they’re trying to build something. If you make money with them, you really cripple them. We wish to complement the broader United Arab Emirates market already present by positioning ourselves as the financial services incubator for SMEs. Digital allows us to do this on a large scale and at our fingertips.