Rivals see ‘fierce’ competition as UAE digital bank Zand prepares for launch
Dubai, United Arab Emirates – Dubai-based digital bank Zand will attempt to
attract customers with competitive deposit rates and a digital-first product lineup when it launches later this
year, challenging traditional bank rivals as Covid-19 drives a wave of digital adoption in the Gulf.
“We think there is a huge opportunity,” Zand CEO Olivier Crespin said during a CNBC moderated panel
session at the Open Banking Ecosystem Summit hosted by QnA International on Monday.
“We are onboarding friends and family on both the retail and corporate side, and we should be ready to go
to market in the next couple of months,” added Crespin, who said interest in the Sheikhdoms newest bank
had been “very strong” ahead of its official launch date, which is still subject to final
administrative and licensing requirements.
Zand plans to be the first fully independent digital bank in the UAE, with a remit to service both retail and
corporate customers. Emaar Properties founder Mohamed Alabbar, the developer behind The Dubai Mall and Burj
Khalifa, has invested in the company and will serve as chairman.
Other domestic and international backers are yet to be disclosed.
Zand will offer interest rates of “around 2%” on deposits according to Crespin, as it seeks to
attract users and compete in the crowded UAE market, where 48 banks already cater to a population of around 10