UAE telco Etisalat has launched a mobile wallet to enable its customers to make payments and money transfers on their smartphones.
The company is using a platform from Oberthur Technologies. As well as account management, the mobile wallet will provide automatic reports and notifications on transactions.
Etisalat said customers’ appetite for digital payments in the UAE had driven the project. “The UAE is at the forefront of digital
This is a sign of a trend in the Middle East similar to that seen in Europe, Asia and North America, with technology companies looking to take a slice of financial services business.
For example, mobile operator Telefonica’s German business division recently launched a mobile-based bank account, and O2 Banking is using technology from Fidor Bank as a rebranded white label service. Fidor bank, which launched in Germany in 2007, has an office in Dubai’s Silicon Oasis park.
But while these alternative financial platforms have become the norm in the world’s fintech hotspots, including parts of Asia and Europe, experts says this global trend has yet to infiltrate the Middle East.
Read more about financial services technology in the Middle East
- The Middle East has been slow to join the fintech revolution, but there is an opportunity for CIOs to help banks stride ahead as demand picks up.
- The CIO of Standard Chartered bank in the Middle East tells Computer Weekly about the challenges of keeping customers happy through IT.
- Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange offers controlled access to the AGM information of listed companies through a blockchain-based service.
The latest report from FinTech Week said less than 0.1% of fintech investment originates in the Middle East. “Consequently, the region’s banks and fintech startups are lagging behind their foreign counterparts in the development of new services and business models,” David Martinez de Lecea, a principal at Roland Berger, told Computer Weekly in June.
But the region is now seeing increased investment in financial services technology. Last week, Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange said it would provide access to documents on listed firms via mobile devices through a blockchain-based system, while Emirates NBD banking group announced a pilot for the use of blockchain for transactions between the UAE and India.