Digital bank Zand granted UAE banking licence

Tuesday 5 July 2022 13:03 CET | News

Zand, a digital banking startup which provides retail and corporate services, has been granted a banking licence from the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates.

The licence, which authorises and regulates Zand to operate as a fully independent bank, was awarded on June 30, 2022.

Zand is one of the first digital banks to provide both retail and corporate banking. In addition to banking services, Zand is set to be a digital economic accelerator, providing the foundations for a broader generation of digital services. Through fully digital offerings, Zand will make banking quicker and simpler, and provide tools that put customers in control of their financial lives.

Zand receives UAE banking licence

Zand is also part of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC)'s Open Finance Lab. The lab will run business and technical workshops, facilitate industry and regulatory forums on important issues. These include API standards and consumer consent management, and educational sessions to promote a greater understanding of how the Open Finance data will create more opportunities through the application of emerging technologies; resulting in new data-driven innovations and business models that will improve the future of the financial system. The insights and learnings from the use cases and forums will contribute to the development of the sector and regulations.

Digital banking in the UAE region

UAE banks have now begun to realise the challenges and opportunities a financial technology revolution was creating throughout the industry, leading several banks to launch digital banking initiatives, from separate digital-only banking platforms to strengthening existing mobile banking platforms, and to refocusing staff on value-added services rather than repetitive and less-profitable branch operations. Right now, growing number of digital banks are starting up in the UAE, the oil-rich Gulf state of around 10 million people.

The UAE has become one of the fastest-growing economic and technological hubs, owing to the National Innovation Strategy. Other initiatives like the Artificial Intelligence Strategy 2031 and Emirates Blockchain Strategy 2021 have also accelerated investments in technological advancements, especially in the banking and finance sector.

Besides, the establishment of over 40 financial free zones across the seven Emirates has also encouraged innovation in digital banking. According to the provisions of these new financial zones, foreigners can own neobanks in UAE under English common law without needing the services of a Local Service Agent.

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Keywords: digital banking, banks, banking license, startup, central bank
Categories: Banking & Fintech
Companies: Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates, Zand
Countries: United Arab Emirates
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Banking & Fintech

Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates



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