Dubai, United Arab Emirates: Nine out of 10 UAE bank account holders think opening a bank account takes too much time and that bank onboarding processes are too complicated. The findings are part of IDnow Middle East’s UAE digital identity proofing and verification report that surveyed more than 1,000 people across the Emirates. 

Other key discoveries from the public survey included that 82% of bank customers were unhappy with having to go to a branch and physically hand over documents. Meanwhile, 76% of UAE residents want an entirely digital bank account opening process, with that figure rising to 85% amongst higher income groups (with a monthly salary of 25,000 dirhams or more). Amongst non-bank account holders, 86% said they had started a bank account application but quit the process because it was too complicated. 

Oliver Obitayo, Chief Commercial Officer at IDnow said, “Customers across the UAE are crying out for easier ways to open a bank account. We know how deeply UAE banks care about their customers, so these results should be a wake-up call. Over the past few years, we have seen rapid innovation and improvements in the banking sector, and by deploying the right technology the problems of slow, complicated bank account onboarding can quickly become a thing of the past.”

Digital identity proofing and verification can help onboarding for a range of financial services, including but not limited to banking, fintech, buy now-pay later, digital assets and cryptocurrency platforms.

IDnow, one of the world’s leading digital identity verification providers, commissioned YouGov to conduct the survey across a representative demographic sample of UAE residents. IDnow wanted to discover customer perceptions about traditional bank account opening which involves manually sharing documents and identity cards in a branch, versus modern digital processes which can allow verification to be performed remotely through a laptop or smartphone. Digital identity verification can reduce bank account approval processes from days or even weeks to just a few minutes.

Obitayo continued, “Customers want convenient, quick and entirely digital procedures. They don’t want to carry lots of paperwork to a branch and they value instant account opening that is safe and secure. Effective digital identity verification and document proofing can help to simplify the process for customers and save banks time and money.”

IDnow Middle East is based in DIFC’s Innovation Hub, serving 193 countries around the world and has global offices in Germany, France and the UK. They are also key sponsors of Seamless Middle East, taking place in Dubai on 31 May – 1 June.

To read IDnow Middle East’s full report and survey on UAE bank onboarding and how digital identity verification and proofing can help, please visit:


About IDnow Middle East Ltd.

 IDnow Middle East Ltd. is a leading identity verification platform with a vision to make the connected world a safer place. The IDnow Group was originally founded in Germany and has expanded across Western Europe and the Middle East. Its first non-European office was established under IDnow Middle East Ltd. in early 2022, serving the MEA region’s digital identity verification market from offices in DIFC’s Innovation Hub.

The IDnow platform provides a broad portfolio of identity verification solutions, ranging from automated to human-assisted from purely online to point-of-sale, each of them optimized for user conversion rates and security.

The IDnow Group is backed by renowned institutional investors, including Corsair Capital and Seventure Partners. Its portfolio of over 670 international clients, spans a wide range of industries, and includes leading international players such as, Western Union, UBS, Sixt and Munich Re, as well as digital champions like N26, Solarisbank, wefox and Tier mobility.

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Jon Ivan-Duke
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