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8 Shariah Compliant Digital Banks in UAE

The use of Shariah compliant digital banks in UAE has seen an explosion in popularity in recent years, coinciding with the widespread trend toward working from home in this technology era. 

Fintech in the UAE is experiencing rapid growth, leveraging technology to enhance and revolutionize traditional financial services.

It is customarily necessary to physically visit a bank facility in order to open a bank account, despite the fact that traditional banks today offer all of the most important financial services online.

Digital banks, on the other hand, offer superior online financial services by eliminating the need for customers to physically visit the branch themselves. 

UAE neobanks are reshaping the banking sector by providing innovative, user-centric financial services without traditional brick-and-mortar branches.

Digital Banks in UAE
Mobile banking solutions have become increasingly popular in the UAE, providing users with convenient and secure access to their financial accounts on the go.

There is a wide variety of really good digital banks that you may choose from if you are presently living in the United Arab Emirates or are thinking about moving there in the near future.

You will be able to open an account and securely manage your financial concerns using your smartphone if you decide to establish a digital bank account in the United Arab Emirates for the purpose of managing money used for personal or business purposes. 

It is without a doubt possible to get a digital banking account that is acceptable for each and every individual in the United Arab Emirates since the number of digital banks that are available is growing.

When it comes to digital banking, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) offers a wide variety of options, ranging from personal banking to banking for businesses and banking tailored to the needs of young people. Let’s take a look! 

What is Shariah Compliant Digital Banking?

Virtual banking platforms are gaining prominence, offering a seamless and accessible banking experience without the need for physical locations.

Digital services demand rises with digital network coverage and capability. Islamic banking is trying to keep up with technology while traditional banking grows.

Islamic banking is seeing a rise in digital solutions due to the growth of both industries and Muslim customer demand.

Muslims make about 25% of the world’s population and are the largest religious group. Islam is also growing quicker than other religions. Therefore, digital Islamic services are popular currently. A huge generation of young Muslims is tech-savvy, educated, and money-savvy.

This generation values information accessibility and financial services openness.

The Islamic economy has developed alongside halal infrastructure. This applies mainly to Islamic banking and money.

It’s getting more vital to avoid interest, speculating, and other haram behaviors in financial dealings.

The Muslim consumer base is tech-savvy and connected. They also learn Sharia law, which governs commerce. Islam shapes their lifestyle and decision-making.

Other nations invest in Islamic financial infrastructure alongside Muslims. Islamic banking is flourishing across Europe, including the US and UK. The Port of Rotterdam features a halal distribution park to serve European Muslims.

If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, which is what i specialize in, you can email me (advice@adamfayed.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).

Digital Banking in UAE

The future of banking in the UAE is poised for continued technological advancements, emphasizing digitalization, automation, and personalized financial services.

The rapid adoption of digital banking in the United Arab Emirates was prompted by the COVID-19 outbreak, which served as a major catalyst.

Individuals have turned to digital platforms in order to satisfy their banking requirements because face-to-face encounters are restricted due to health and safety concerns.

17% of people in the UAE presently have digital bank accounts, and an additional 13% have plans to have one within the next five years, according to a report that was published not too long ago on the subject of the adoption of digital banking.

By the year 2026, it is anticipated that around 31% of Emiratis will be actively utilizing online banking services, as indicated by predictions.

To address this rising problem, regulatory agencies, including the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), have taken major initiatives to encourage financial industry digitalization.

Their 2023–2026 strategy includes a digital currency, artificial intelligence, and big data technologies to improve online financial services and create a secure financial cloud infrastructure.

Regional financial institutions are also using blockchain, OCR, and AI to improve customer service and the banking experience.

Shariah Compliant Digital Banks in UAE

ADIB SmartBanking 

Virtual banking trends are emerging in the UAE, reflecting a shift towards online and digital channels for financial transactions and services.

SmartBanking is an innovative digital banking service that is available to residents of the United Arab Emirates. It was developed by the Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank (ADIB).

Once your digital SmartBanking account has been successfully set up, your card will be mailed to your residence as soon as possible.

The remaining chores are able to be completed effectively through the use of digital tools.

By becoming a member of this cutting-edge digital bank, you will have the opportunity to take advantage of a variety of benefits, including the option to make free withdrawals from ATMs in the United Arab Emirates and SmartBanking savings throughout the Middle East that are available to you.

By allowing you to make changes to your bank account straight from your smartphone, SmartBanking is able to cater to the special needs of modern customers who are looking for a banking experience that is exclusively digital.

When it comes to this undertaking, you are not alone. You will have the ability to interact with other digital bankers from all around the Middle East by means of the huge online network that is known as MoneySmart.

Because of this, you will have the opportunity to solicit advice and share information with your coworkers and professionals working in a variety of sectors.

Downloading the SmartBanking application from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store is the first step for users to enroll in the service.

Immediately after you have received your card, your banking experience will be converted into a format that is entirely digital.

Due to the fact that it frequently incorporates new features, this digital bank is extremely commendable for the people of the UAE.

Mashreq Neo 

When it comes to banks in the United Arab Emirates that are exclusively digital, Mashreq Neo stands out as one of the best options.

This digital bank was established in 2017 by Mashreq Bank, a financial institution based in Dubai. It offers a wide variety of services that are specifically designed to fulfill the requirements of modern banking.

Digital Banks in UAE
Digital transformation in banking is reshaping traditional banking models in the UAE, emphasizing efficiency, innovation, and customer-centric approaches.

In 2020, World Finance recognized Mashreq Neo as the best mobile banking application in the Middle East and awarded it the title.

While maintaining a strong emphasis on safety, customers of Mashreq Neo are able to conduct their banking activities in a secure and hassle-free manner.

Users are able to rapidly enroll in their digital bank account and begin enjoying the benefits of having one, regardless of the type of account they have, whether it be a current account, savings account, income account, or investment account.

The enrolling procedure is simple, and the account provides additional safety precautions to ensure your safety.

Users of Mashreq Neo are eligible to get a cashback payout of up to 350 AED within the first ninety days of banking with the platform.

An additional benefit of opening a MaxSaver account is that users are eligible to receive an interest rate of 1.1%.

The services provided by this digital bank go beyond those of a traditional bank. It offers the possibility of investing in gold, currencies, and equities all through the same digital platform, which is really convenient.

All things considered, this is the very definition of digital simplicity!

Once customers have successfully established their Mashreq Neo account through the use of the Internet, they will be able to monitor their financial concerns digitally by employing the official application at their disposal.

Additionally, the Mashreq Neo app is available for download via the Google Play app store as well as the Apple App Store.

E-banking trends in UAE reflect a shift towards online platforms, with customers embracing digital channels for their banking needs.

Zand

The Zand digital bank offers its customers an extremely competitive interest rate of roughly 2% for the monies that they deposit into their customer accounts.

Zand’s objective is to position itself as one of the most powerful competitors in the digital banking business in the United Arab Emirates, which is a highly competitive industry.

Zand offers its customers a wide variety of services, including accounts, cards, loans, and tools for managing their finances.

As a result of taking inspiration from the highly successful digital banks operating in the European market, Zand is a good alternative for digital banking in the UAE, particularly in a society that places a strong emphasis on distance and isolation.

Liv Bank by Emirates NBD 

It is not lost on Liv that the forward-thinking aspect of digital banking has long been a defining characteristic of the industry.

The demands and desires of the digital generation were taken into consideration when the creation of this digital bank was undertaken.

The bank was initially created by Emirates NBD in 2017 with the intention of specifically catering to the requirements and preferences of Millennials and Gen Z in the United Arab Emirates.

Individuals who are interested in moving their banking activities to a digital platform will find this to be a fantastic option because it possesses exceptional functionality and a user-friendly interface.

At this time, Liv has a user base that consists of more than 300,000 people who are involved in the provision of online financial services across the Middle East region.

Because Liv’s digital bankers have access to a wide variety of discounts and because the bank offers a competitive 2% return on account balances that are greater than 5000 AED, there are a lot of reasons to sign up for membership with this financial institution.

Liv has developed The Challenger, a component of their platform that is specifically meant to aid clients in effectively managing their finances by assisting them in achieving their financial goals and monitoring their spending.

Digital wallets in the UAE are playing a crucial role in the evolving financial landscape, providing a secure means for individuals to store and manage their digital assets.

Once users have successfully completed the digital enrollment process with Liv, they will be able to employ either the Apple or Android application that Liv provides in order to carry out their banking activities.

In 2019, Emirates NBD released a new digital banking platform that was specifically designed for digital business banking. This platform was termed E20, and it was introduced as a response to Liv’s overwhelming success.

OG Pay 

Customers who live in the United Arab Emirates have access to OG Pay, which is a fantastic alternative to traditional banking methods. 

E-banking in the UAE has evolved to offer a seamless and efficient electronic banking experience, contributing to the country’s progress in the digital financial realm.

Digital payment systems: Digital payment systems in the UAE have become integral to daily transactions, offering speed, convenience, and a cashless experience for consumers.

When it comes to online banking services, OG Pay stands out as being both secure and quite cost-effective.

OG Pay is a robust digital banking solution because it is a versatile platform that includes multiple characteristics, such as the ability to accept payments.

Now, more than ever before, enrolling in OG Pay has become a more convenient experience! Either through the use of their official application or through the utilization of an internet-based platform, this can be accomplished.

Customers will be provided with a virtual debit card that may be used immediately after they have registered for the service.

Consumers also have the option of requesting a physical card, which will be delivered to their home in a short amount of time. This option is available to them.

Through the use of the digital platform, customers of OG Pay will have the option to protect their financial information and engage in the buying and selling of a variety of cryptocurrencies.

Through the utilization of this function, individuals are able to commence the process of constructing a digital asset portfolio, regardless of the amount of investment that they choose to make.

There will be a 2% annual percentage yield interest accrued on the amount that is currently in your account, which is your original pay balance.

One of the most remarkable digital banks available, OG Pay provides a digital platform that is both user-friendly and seamlessly integrated, making it ideal for managing your finances.

It is possible for those who are interested in using the OG Pay app to obtain it by installing it from either the Google Play store or the Apple App Store.

E20 by Emirates NBD 

As a result of the success of their digital banking service, Liv, Emirates NBD launched their digital business bank, E20, in the year 2019.

With E20, prospective clients can easily create a digital business account in a matter of minutes, and the process is completely hassle-free!

Consequently, you will be able to save more time by utilizing this digital bank because E20 is aware of the time limits that persons who are in charge of managing a business confront.

There are digital business accounts that are ideal for you, regardless of the size of your company, and there are options available to you.

Each and every small and medium-sized company (SMEs) can take advantage of the account that is made available to them. This includes civil, limited liability, and partnership firms, as well as one-person limited liability companies.

Once consumers have registered with E20, they will be able to begin making local payments within five days of the registration process.

A renowned financial institution in the United Arab Emirates, Emirates NBD, has introduced a brand new digital bank known as E20.

The emphasis is placed on guaranteeing the safety of the funds belonging to your company, and it gives you access to efficient instruments for managing those funds. The whole thing is at a price that is really reasonable!

Both the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store provide the opportunity to download the E20 digital banking application.

By utilizing this powerful banking application that was developed just for businesses, you will have the ability to simply create your account and efficiently manage your company’s financial concerns directly from your mobile device.

ADIB Amwali 

Amwali is a bank that uses purely digital transactions and is developed with the youth of the UAE in mind. An additional remarkable digital bank, Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, was the one that initiated its establishment.

With the help of this one-of-a-kind digital banking platform, you will have the chance to teach your child the fundamentals of financial management while also providing them with the knowledge they need to become proficient in the realm of digital banking.

Digital Banks in UAE
Contactless banking solutions have become integral to the UAE’s financial ecosystem, emphasizing speed, security, and hygiene in transactions.

The ADIB Amwali program provides a user-friendly and forward-thinking method for managing pocket money through the use of a mobile device.

When you register an ADIB Amwali account for your child, you will have the opportunity to transfer monies to them for their costs, monitor their transactions, and make it easier for them to save money.

A card will be supplied to users, which can be used for a variety of purposes, including making cash withdrawals from automated teller machines, doing internet transactions, and other useful functions.

Having said that, they will not be able to accomplish it on their own! Additionally, the comprehensive parental control capabilities allow you to monitor your child’s account and set account limitations for them.

This is in addition to the fact that you may set up recurring payments to contribute to your child’s account. This provides your child with the opportunity to acquire these essential skills in a risk-free environment.

In order to get the process started, the Amwali application developed by ADIB can be obtained by downloading it from either the Apple App Store or Google Play.

The possibility to register an account on behalf of one’s children will subsequently be made available to parents.

Your child will have the capacity to handle their finances through their smartphone, while you will have the potential to monitor their activity from the convenience of your own smartphone.

Mobile wallet solutions are on the rise in the UAE, providing users with convenient and efficient ways to manage their finances on the go.

YAP

One of the most prominent digital banking institutions in the United Arab Emirates is YAP, which was founded by RAKBANK in the twenty-first century. YAP, which is the reverse spelling of the word “PAY,” acknowledges the busy pace of modern life and, as a result, seeks to simplify the process of conducting digital financial transactions.

The digital banking platform offered by YAP gives you the ability to have complete control over all of your financial issues.

Not only does the process of registering for a YAP account not require any papers, but it can also be finished in a matter of seconds! 

Cybersecurity in digital banking is a paramount concern in the UAE, with financial institutions prioritizing robust measures to protect customer data and ensure secure online transactions.

As a result of the implementation of cutting-edge security measures and technological breakthroughs, users of YAP are able to perform banking transactions in a secure and convenient manner while maintaining their peace of mind.

Because the YAP app has capabilities that provide financial analysis, you will be able to keep track of and evaluate the decisions you make with your finances.

YAP has no plans to slow down in the near future! In order to achieve its objective of becoming a significant digital bank in the Middle East, South Asia, and Africa, YAP endeavors to form partnerships with financial institutions located in other regions in order to broaden the scope of its services.

Individuals who work in digital banking need to have a mindset that is progressive like this.

Through the YAP app, which can be obtained from either the Google Play Store or the Apple App Store, you will be able to create your account rapidly.

Following that, RAKBANK will supply you with an IBAN number and make arrangements for the distribution of your banking card.

Final Thoughts

The UAE fintech industry is experiencing rapid growth fueled by technological advancements and a strong regulatory framework.

A substantial amount of change has occurred in the UAE’s banking sector as a result of the advent of digital banking.

Through the year 2023, it is anticipated that the nation will have achieved a rate of adoption for online banking services of 34%, which would place it among the leading nations in terms of embracing this technology.

Artificial Intelligence and open banking are two examples of the technologies that financial institutions are implementing in order to cater to the requirements of customers who are adept in technology.

The UAE digital economy is thriving, driven by advancements in technology, a digitally-savvy population, and a concerted effort towards economic diversification.

The UAE has a positive and encouraging outlook for the future of digital banking.

The desire for the provision of online financial services that are both efficient and secure will be the driving force behind the increased adoption of innovative banking solutions by businesses, which will result in increased innovation within the banking sector. 

Investors seeking tailored financial strategies often explore the intersection of private banking, investment funds, and Shariah-compliant digital banks in the UAE to align their financial goals with ethical and Islamic principles.

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Adam is an internationally recognised author on financial matters, with over 760.2 million answer views on Quora.com, a widely sold book on Amazon, and a contributor on Forbes.

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