Digital bank Wio has launched in the UAE to provide next-generation electronic banking solutions in the region.
The new bank will provide services in three areas - digital banking apps, embedded finance and banking-as-a-service (BaaS).
Wio Bank is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi Development Company (ADQ), Alpha Dhabi Holding, Etisalat, and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) with an initial capital outlay of AED 2.3 billion.
Digital banking has yet to reach mainstream adoption in the UAE but the market is already showing appetite for alternative solutions that enable customers to access banking services without stepping into brick-and-mortar branches.
Around one in five people in the UAE is said to have one account with a digital bank. The number is set to double in the next few years.
The embedded finance market is also expected to grow "hundreds of billions" globally over the next 10 years.
The bank said it will partner with digital businesses to offer its BaaS solutions and play an active role to "embed customized financial services with leading digital players in the region".
(Writing by Cleofe Maceda; editing by Daniel Luiz)