Major banks in the UAE are adopting digital services to compete in the maturing blockchain industry that has growing customer needs, according to a recent study by Bloomberg Intelligence.
The study highlighted the importance of fostering digital services in order to boost market share, establish resilient and cost-effective activities, as well as creating an environment facilitating the growth of financial technology.
Most importantly, the increase in IT spending may lead to the merger of small banks, as their larger counterparts may invest in the renewal of the systems they adopt.
Emirates NBD at forefront in terms of digital transformation
Accordingly to the study, Emirates NBD is one of the first GCC banks in terms digital transformation. In addition, it is the first bank to adopt an infrastructure based on application programming interface (API). This is boosted by the bank’s investment budget reaching AED 1 billion ($272.3 million).
In November 2018, the bank has launched an API Sandbox platform which provides an environment enabling financial technology companies to test their banking solutions.
Accordingly, other banks may follow suit, or be subject to a policy similar to that of the payment services approved in Europe, which enables foreign companies to access open banking services.
Thus, other banks may update the systems they adopt to keep pace with the evolving approach adopted by Emirates NBD.
Moreover, Emirates NBD has launched ‘E20’; the first digital business bank dedicated to small and medium-sized businesses.
In addition, the back-office digitization and API-based infrastructure help meet the emerging needs through providing innovative solutions.
Meanwhile, smaller banks are likely to do their utmost to compete with their larger counterparts, which would open the door for wide cooperation and merger.
Today, Cryptolydian reported that the Arab Monetary Fund (AMF) has launched Buna Payment Platform to enhance the financial integration opportunities.
In addition, the move aims to boost economic and investment ties with trading partners in the Arab world.