In the UAE, SMEs account for over 94 per cent of companies in the country, providing employment to over 86 per cent of the total private sector workforce, which constitutes over 60 per cent of the country's current GDP.
When it comes to banking, one of the biggest challenges for start-ups across the world is opening a business account. This is due to the expensive and lengthy process involved, not to forget the huge number of documents required at the outset.
It is notable, therefore, that more banks are increasingly launching digital solutions in the country to introduce basic accounts with a digital end-to-end account opening process.
Mashreq too has understood this need gap and recently launched the UAE's first digital proposition for SMEs called NEOBiz. The offering not only delivers customised and specifically tailored digital products for them, but also offers key services such as digital onboarding, transparent and simplified products, a digital assistant and full transaction capabilities online.
NEOBiz will also provide business customers with a whole plethora of benefits that includes access to value added services such as Zoho books accounting software, mobile point of sale (POS) and payment gateway.
Mashreq has also introduced two more initiatives to improve its customer experience. These include a 24/7 virtual assistant Emma and a digital 'Know-Your-Customer' (e-KYC) platform.
While NEOBiz was launched nearly a month ago, we have received great feedback from customers, partners and various free zone entities. Based on the customer insights and the dynamic nature of the SME businesses, we will continue to enhance the current features and build on the suite of solutions for the NEOBiz ecosystem.
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