UAE’s first digital mobile-only bank launched

By DG Staff

DUBAI 1 December 2019: Bank ABC has launched Ila Bank, foraying into the digital, mobile-only banking space, beginning with Bahrain with a roadmap to take it across the MENA region. Ila reflects Bank ABC’s commitment to drive the financial services sector to the next frontier, combining technology with a human-centric design to redefine banking for the next generation.

The launch took place in an impressive ceremony at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Bahrain on 24th November amidst government and Central Bank dignitaries and business community leaders along with Ila and Bank ABC staff.

Arabic for the word ‘to’, ila promises to propel its users from where they are, “to” where they want to be, enabling their long-and-short-term goals and aspirations though an extremely personalised approach to banking and financial management, aided by cutting-edge technology and sophisticated data analytics.

“At Bank ABC, we see change as an opportunity – to become more relevant to our customers and to evolve and to grow with them,” says Dr. Khaled Kawan, Group CEO of Bank ABC. “This is an exciting time not just for us, but also for the country. Digital transformation presents a huge opportunity to drive lasting positive change throughout the Kingdom, something that Bank ABC is proud to be leading.”

As opposed to traditional banks, Ila has been conceived and built differently from the ground up, keeping the customers and their rapidly evolving needs at its core: Ila is agile, connected and intuitive. “We recognise that the customers of today are not the same as the customers of tomorrow,” added Bank ABC Deputy Group CEO Mr. Sael Al Waary, who is spearheading this strategic initiative. “And so, it became our obsession and challenge to create a bank that mirrors their fast, connected and always on the go lifestyles. We merged cutting edge technology and human understanding to create a bank that is aligned with modern life… Ila is designed to listen to our customers, study their lifestyles and priorities, and offer them an intuitive banking support that is completely attuned with their financial needs, something that is also deftly conveyed by our brand promise, ‘Banking that reflects you’,” said Mr. Al Waary.

Ila’s initial offering:

  • Completely digital onboarding within minutes with just two forms of ID and a selfie.
  • Users are issued a Virtual debit card as soon as they onboard for immediate use for online transactions.
  • Flexible funding options including in-app integration with the country’s leading payment channel.
  • Multiple foreign currency accounts that can be linked to a single card. Users can transfer funds between these accounts without the worry of excessive fees.
  • A current account that encourages people to save more by rewarding them with a higher interest rate on higher balance, which will be calculated daily and paid monthly.
  • In-app full card control features, including set/reset pin, freeze/unfreeze a misplaced card, block and instantly reorder in the case of lost or stolen cards
  • Digital DNA TM Customer Assistant Fatema, who will be available across social media to keep people and community informed about Ila and will be able to answer customer questions through Ila’s website 24/7.

“This is the beginning of the journey, and as we gather more insights about our customers, Ila will evolve as well, giving users the chance to co-create future features,” says Mr. Al Waary. “With Ila we aim to offer lifestyle banking that caters to your everyday life needs from the moment you wake up till you go to sleep.”

Dubai Gazette