Wio Bank launches Wio Business for SMEs
Wio Bank had its official launch earlier this week in the UAE, becoming the first platform bank in the region, “aiming to transform banking operating models towards a more digital future”. In line with the UAE’s Digital Economy Strategy, the new bank will provide solutions in three areas - digital banking apps, embedded finance and banking-as-a-service (BaaS) solutions.
His Excellency Salem Al Nuaimi, Chairman of the Board, Wio Bank said, “At Wio Bank, we are keen to contribute to the digital ambitions of the UAE by driving the creation of a robust digital financial system that provides world class banking offerings and user experiences, laying the foundations for a futuristic economy. Wio Bank heralds the arrival of next generation banking in the region that will enable customers to access banking services effortlessly while also allowing them to do more in their business and personal lives.”
Wio will launch a range of digital banking apps starting with the launch of its digital banking application, Wio Business. Wio Business was launched as a beta version earlier this year and has found very good acceptance and advocacy with early adopters, evidenced by a net promoter score (NPS) of 73.
Wio Business provides start-ups, freelancers, and small and medium enterprises (SMEs) access to banking services seamlessly and developed in collaboration with customers and built to get SMEs up and running quickly by providing easy and simple banking tools to manage their business better.
We asked a couple of small businesses who had signed up with WIO Business in its beta phase.
Ola Arafeh, Founder and Managing Director for Rewrite DXB opened an account during its beta phase. She found it “extremely easy” to open her business account and that the bank were “helpful and quick to respond”. Arafeh added, “It doesn’t have the obstacles and requirements that other banks have, less bureaucracy and a professional human touch.”
Natasha Mahajan, Founder of Mr Bluefish Eco Packaging agrees with Arafeh. “As a business bank, they are way ahead of their competitors. Opening a bank account was a nightmare, no other bank would return my calls and some wanted a 50k deposit. I got a call back from one of the leading traditional banks five months after chasing them whereas with WIO, it was an email and they wrote back immediately. They asked for a couple of documents the day before set up, and walked me through the process on the phone. I love the interface of the app it's clean and user friendly.”
Jayesh Patel, CEO, Wio Bank added, “As the digital revolution continues to drive changes across economies, it is paramount for us to evolve new operating models that contribute to the growth of digital businesses in the UAE. We believe the next evolution of banking is a shift from traditional online banking and pure play digital banks to that of platform banking. Wio will focus on introducing state-of-the-art digital banking apps for customers and embedding financial services in digital businesses that are frequented by consumers. We will also provide a top-quality banking-as-a-service platform to fintechs and non-financial businesses to accelerate creation of innovative end-to-end customer solutions.”
In addition, Wio will play an active role to embed customized financial services with leading digital players in the region, thereby enhancing the digital economy. The embedded finance market is estimated to grow hundreds of billions globally over the next decade. Wio plans on taking banking where customers already engage and reduce the need for customers to go to bank channels to access banking services.
Wio will partner with digital businesses to offer its ready-made and modular BaaS solutions to enable them to provide banking products and services to their customers. . Gartner predicts that 30 percent of banks with greater than $1 billion in assets will launch BaaS for new revenue by the end of 2024, but half will not meet targeted revenue expectations. BaaS is one of four technologies that Gartner says have potential for high levels of transformation in the banking sector and are likely to mature within the next couple of years.
Wio Bank will strive to expand its offerings with innovative solutions in the coming months to help reboot banking in the UAE.