UAE’s first digital business bank servicing residents amid the Corona pandemic

Digital Banking UAE
June 19, 2021

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The UAE is continuing its tradition of providing cutting edge services to its residents. Launching the region’s first-ever digital business bank E20 by the Emirates NBD in 2019 was another step in this way. Providing services to entrepreneurs and SME businesses in Coronavirus, this business bank is going strong in 2024.

This digital business bank is enabling small money-makers such as the sole proprietors, freelancers, and small-to-medium scale organizations. From opening bank accounts, it allows them to carry their day-to-day banking requirements from the comfort of home. All they need to do is install a mobile app and they get access to all the banking services.

Thanks to it, people kept doing their business even in the challenging times that the Corona pandemic brought. A survey found 65% entrepreneurs doing business in the UAE consider banking the greatest hardship during company formation in Dubai. It is because opening a corporate bank account in Dubai can take up to 3 months, that is a long time.

But with E20, the entrepreneurs can open an account quickly. Also, it lets them do international transactions as well as allows them to pay their bills all on their smartphones. Moreover, the customers can receive a checkbook, and debit card. They get access to Emirates NBD’s network of ATMs and cash and check deposit machines to manage day-to-day banking needs.

The E20, UAE’s first-ever digital business bank has been developed to cater to the specific banking and financial management requirements of the business owners and other business professionals.

Shayne Nelson, Group CEO of Emirates NBD

The digital bank dedicates it to providing an uninterrupted and seamless digital account opening. It leverages new local developments such as e-KYC modules together with the UAE Pass for digital bio-metric identification. These advancements go with other smooth, and intuitive tools.

Other services that E20 renders to facilitate the SMEs

Apart from the banking services, E20 also offers entrepreneurs other digital tools that give convenience to their customers. It let them continue their business activities amid the COVID-19 outbreak and other calamities. Thus, digital banks and virtual financial platforms prevent the country’s economy from coming to a complete standstill.

Customers of E20 have round the clock access to a relationship manager through an in-app live chat messenger. It assists them with any inquiries or requests they may have. On top of that, the services by the E20 include the following.

  • Generation of invoices to keep as a record
  • Track receivables
  • View P&L statements
  • Make timely payments to your vendors and suppliers
  • Provide information on VAT returns
  • Get a bank statement helping customers run their businesses efficiently

Read more: Open a corporate bank account in Dubai

Actions taken for SMEs in the UAE amid COVID-19

During the Coronavirus, the Middle Eastern economy undergone a sharp slowdown in the first quarter of 2020. That was despite the UAE giving several stimulus packages to mitigate its blow in the country. However, the UAE government has a visionary leadership that is always ahead of its peers.

They are continually thinking about ways to make life easier for its residents. In the UAE, small and medium-sized business setups make about 98% of the business landscape of the country. Accordingly, they contribute about 53% of the country’s GDP.

UAE’s government is employing its entire energy and resources to keep these businesses up and running. They do so by creating strategies that are specifically targeting SMEs with their financial products. The UAE is among the leading countries in the world which have launched a debit card for SMEs.

Initially, popular banks like First Abu Dhabi Bank and Noor Bank rolled-out this card. It has all the benefits of the traditional business debit and credit cards. With hosts of advantages like tighter security and higher withdrawal limits, these initiatives minimized the damage caused by COVID-19.


The Gulf region applied similar measures to the rest of the world to contain the rampant spread of the Coronavirus. There were restrictions like travel bans, closure of most public venues, including schools, and a ban on public gatherings. The cessation of some industrial activities were part of the prohibitions.

UAE authorities were mindful of the consequence of the isolation and semi-shutdown of the economy. Subsequently, they followed the lead of other countries and taken steps to sustain demand. For example, its banks have slashed the cost of borrowing.

Other measures include custom duty exemptions, rent relief, loan deferment, cheaper utility costs, and credit guarantees for SMEs. The UAE government is trying its level best to help SMEs in every possible way. After all they contribute heavily to the economy of the country.

We at KWS Middle East are here to help you with the procedure of business setup in Dubai. Also, you can avail business consulting services all across the UAE. Contact us today and book your commitment-free call with us today.

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