The world is intensifying its adoption of digital means to conduct its finances. The accelerated use of the Internet and smartphones has impacted the burgeoning of digital banking and any financial ecosystem. The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is no stranger to transforming one of its primal sectors’ frameworks as the financial sphere becomes increasingly technologically industrialized. A coherent modernization solemnly based on trust, perceived security, and perceived usefulness ponderously affects the Emirates’ digital banking adoption and payment methods, setting the stage for the economic agenda of the future.
When it comes to the adaptation of payment system innovation and boosting it financial ecosystem, the UAE is embracing the role the fourth industrial revolution is playing to broaden its horizons of innovation, development of novel digital payment solutions (DPS), wealth generation within the financial sector, enablement of regulatory movement by the proper governmental entities, and finally, the efficacy of maximizing the role of societal members.
Society has made a massive contribution in magnifying the demand for technological innovations to further establish a strong presence for digital payments. The deliverance of appropriate, affordable, and accessible financial services will, without any doubt, ensure a broader fostering of financial inclusion for the Emirates. DPS will undeniably deliver heightened benefits to stakeholders when reshaping economic systems with the help of financial institutions. Such support will eventually generate financial market development, magnified credit history, and a diminish in chancy loans.
Supporting UAE’s Financial Inclusion
The accelerated arrival of innovative banking solutions in the UAE is compelling traditional banking institutions to revamp their approach to handling finances, forcing them to extend their embrace of digital transformation to stay in the league as fintech companies take the scene swiftly.
The UAE’s digital banking services, such as internet banking, mobile banking, and recently emerged non-bank establishments, have joined the race of digital financial transformation to deliver a broad new range of only-digital banking services. In the past decade, the Emirates’ financial institutions adhered to the ever-changing landscape with the fourth industrial revolution, which naturally hit the financial sector.
Adopting digital solutions for traditional banks through digital banking initiatives has boldened numerous predominant mobile banking platforms. Online and digital banking enabled a new wave of financial benefits for consumers and banks through scalability, personalization, and cost-saving offers.
Digital banks have become a critical factor in the aggrandizement of innovation to promote financial inclusion, specifically for small and medium enterprises, as well as corporate sectors. Digital banking has become the lead enabler and promoter of financial inclusion enabling never-seen-before access to untapped, unbanked, and underserved clients across the UAE’s market.
Transitioning from Traditional to Digital Banking
The COVID-19 pandemic’s swift global overtake has drastically shifted the dynamic for the UAE’s accelerated digital transformation journey, and its banking sector was one of the main financial ecosystems exposed to such a transformative venture.
At the moment, an estimate of almost 17 percent of Emirati individuals prefer and currently obtain a digital bank account. The number, though, does not end there. Another reported 13 percent is estimated to also open a digital version. This upsurge in adopting digital financial solutions is paving the way for more inclusive growth of digital banking in the UAE. At that rate and speed, it is expected that by 2026, almost 31 percent of the overall Emirati population will have digital banks.
There is no denying that the Emirates is investing all its efforts into rushing the digitalization of its financial services. Yet with such acceleration comes the need for a new regulatory movement and the implementation of tangible legislative frameworks. On the path to guarantee the success of the UAE’s newly risen digitalized financial sector, the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) unveiled its 2023-2026 strategy in support of the issuance of the Emirates’ own digital currency.
The issuance will not only drive the digital transformation of the nation’s financial ecosystem through the implementation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and big data solutions, but it will also help refine the sector’s security framework to become a cloud-based one. The CBUAE’s establishment of its own digital currency will enable a more heightened use of blockchain, optical character recognition, and AI technology to further optimize its offerings to a broader clientele base.
This proliferation in embracing such technologies has further polished the adoption of digital transformation for the UAE’s financial sector. The CBUAE’s granting of an in-principal approval to release a new digital banking platform, Wio, enabled a new form of service deliverance for customers in the UAE. The Abu-Dhabi-based digital banking platform will offer customers a broad range of digital banking options with tailored products and services.
Digital Banking Upheaval
The image is crystal-clear, embedded in our heads, and it is common knowledge by now. Technology is profoundly altering how the world functions on every scale and aspect. Finance is already global, and it has directed the economic growth of nations, and now, the integration of finance with technology is becoming more and more absolute. The association between finance and technology is becoming an entity on its own, and new technologies will make it even more so. The UAE is not the only example of such alteration, but it is one of the prominent examples elaborating on this drastic shift in dynamics.
The rise of digital assets and new-pioneering varieties of financial intermediations is currently, and will, shape Emirates’ financial framework for years to come. A factor that would most likely shape the region’s economic landscape in a foundational way. The upheaval of digital banking in the UAE will change how customers spend, move, and manage their money in a way never seen before, where traditional banks will be inevitably forced to adapt to the means of technological approaches to face the rising competition of digital services provided by the fintech industry.
A new, unique perspective is emerging when considering the customization of banking services to mirror the hasty growth of the fourth industrial revolution expanding in nations. Technology is becoming more and more of a necessity for financial institutions. It is no longer a luxury. The rising era of mobile banking in the UAE is here, and it’s moving fast. It is bringing along fundamental changes to how financial institutions handle banking, deal with emerging financial disruptions, optimize structures, and develop new strategies for business outcomes in support of digital and human resources to accommodate the needs of the digital era.
Yet, regardless of the growth rate UAE’s financial institutions are hoping to reach, the final say lies in the hands of the customers, as they are the only party that dictates its success. The people hold power in determining the growth of digital adoption for services and financial ecosystem. How much the public is willing to accept the digitalization of their banking and financial operations will influence the dominion of technology over the UAE’s financial sector.
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