New initiatives include a one-stop shop solution powered by blockchain technology
Noor Bank has helped 20 start-ups from Dubai Technology Entrepreneur Campus (Dtec) to open bank accounts over the last nine months, a year-on-year increase of 35 percent.
Figures were revealed by the Dubai Chamber-led working group on SME banking, which lists increased cooperation between UAE banks and the country’s start-up ecosystem as one of its key achievements.
It also highlights new banking and licensing solutions tailored to the needs of start-ups and an increase in the number of fintech start-ups specialising in SME banking.
H.E. Hamad Buamim, president and CEO of Dubai Chamber of Commerce and Industry, said: “The proactive and collaborative approach taken by the working group in addressing existing challenges faced by SMEs is the result of close cooperation between public and private sector players. Dubai Chamber plays an active role in fostering such collaboration with the aim of improving ease of doing business and enhancing the competitiveness of SMEs in Dubai.”
The working group, in cooperation with Smart Dubai, Dtec and Noor Bank, has developed a new one-stop shop solution powered by blockchain technology, which enables start-ups and SMEs to apply for a business license and open a bank account.
Dr Aisha Bint Butti Bin Bishr, director general of Smart Dubai, said: “Smart Dubai is committed to joining all efforts to empower start-ups in the UAE. SMEs lead the way in terms of creativity and we consider them to be an essential partner for us on our mission to spearhead Dubai’s transformation into a full-fledged smart city of the future – a mission that makes it indispensable for us to promote innovation and embrace emerging technologies as a means to transform services across the city.”
Following the establishment of the working group and the release of a whitepaper on SME banking challenges published by Dubai Chamber in September 2018, two of its members – RAK Bank and Mashreq Bank - began offering new digital solutions and additional services designed specifically for start-ups.
The working group also noted an increase in the number of partnerships between UAE banks, incubators and accelerators which is seen as a positive sign that industry stakeholders are stepping up their efforts to meet the evolving demands of tech start-ups in the country and develop practical and tangible solutions that can benefit this community.