Three ways to fast-track banking digitalisation in the UAE

Wealth is not money. Wealth lies in men”, said the founding father of the United Arab Emirates (UAE), His Highness Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan. These were the words which struck me as I attended the specular UAE Trade Mission in February. As always, and as one would imagine, the region was lively and bustling, filled with financial innovators and brimming with potential.  

Like the philosophy of Sheikh Zayed, I believe wholeheartedly that experiences of people matter – a lot. To quote Steve Jobs, another great creator, “you’ve got to start with the customer experience and work backward toward the technology”.   

Wealth Dynamix was the first ever client lifecycle management platform to focus exclusively on the wealth sector. And today it continues to shape and lead the industry. The client-centric philosophy of the UAE aligns so perfectly with our own.  

Here are three ways we intend to add value to financial services in the region.  

1. Omni-channel engagement    

Financial services in the UAE famously provide sparkling experiences for clients. The region has even become a sort of second home for Ultra High Net Worth clients who appreciate the luxurious treatment. From a simple savings account to a bespoke portfolio, clients in the region have come to expect unparalleled face-to-face service.  

However, there is some room for improvement once the client steps out of the door. And that’s where Wealth Dynamix can add extraordinary value. 97% of the population have a mobile phone[1], but a meagre 17% use digital banking[2] 

Customers are clearly ready for state-of-the-art digital banking, however. A recent survey found that nearly nine out of ten people would now prefer to opt for online services[3]. There’s a huge gap in the market just waiting to be filled.  

Droves of challenger banks have flocked in to swoop up the UAE’s tech-hungry customers. The Dubai-based Jingle Pay, for example, targets young demographics with its digital proposition.    

And wealth managers can reclaim this space too with software like WDX1 and CLMi. Client lifecycle management (CLM) manages from prospecting, through onboarding and all the way through to continuous lifecycle management, clients will be surprised and delighted across all the different channels the bank has to offer.  

2. Effective and efficient onboarding      

Although just 17%[4] of Emirati adults have a digital bank account today, that number is expected to rise exponentially. By 2026, experts predict that 31%[5] of adults will be managing wealth from their phone.  

This is something the UAE Central Bank is keen to encourage. Digital transformation was recently unveiled as one of its main strategic aims[6]. And by not reacting these objectives, wealth managers could risk losing their clients. 2021 research shows a whopping 74% of High Net Worth individuals globally would consider switching to a tech company because of the seamless digital experience[7].   

So, how can UAE wealth managers take advantage of this trend, and catch the waves of incoming customers? A straightforward way is by providing effortless digital onboarding.  

Digital onboarding can be tremendously powerful when it’s done right. You only need to look at the exploding success of challenger fintech banks to see that. But bad onboarding experiences can be disastrous. A staggering 63%[8] of people will abandon the process altogether if it takes too long, or feels cumbersome. For wealth managers that can be extremely costly. 

Wealth Dynamix takes the hassle out of onboarding, with perfectly seamless and secure sign-up processes. With embedded compliance, routine checks like Know Your Customer and Anti-Money Laundering protocols are automated and recorded in regulator-friendly formats. This doesn’t just speed-up the process for customers. It also liberates over-worked compliance experts to focus on unique and complex cases.  

What’s more, the software collects the risk profile and investment aims of the customer in an effortless use experience. The valuable data – and much more – can be harvested and shared in useful dashboards across the entire bank. This makes it much easier for financial services to cross-sell. Delighting the customer with exceptionally accurate products, while maximising profitability has never been so easy.  

3. Collaboration and management across different business areas    

The financial growth of the UAE cannot be denied. Over the past ten years, the average bank account deposit has grown by a staggering 80%[9] 

What’s more, different financial services are expanding too. The insurance sector is exploding. And the Central Bank is keen to take advantage of the UAE’s world-leading blockchain scene, by issuing a digital currency.  

Banks have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to cross-sell their different products to eager customers. But existing legacy technology holds them back. Traditionally, different banking divisions are siloed and so data from one department cannot “speak” to another. Opportunities are already getting missed.  

Wealth Dynamix software takes a single view of the client. No matter how many financial products the client buys, they are still seen as one person in the bank. This may sound obvious, but it is truly revolutionary!  

Having a 360-degree view is better for the client because they benefit from a hyper-personalised service. It’s better for the bank too. Across the front, middle and back office functions, employees have custom-built dashboards containing everything they need to know about their clients.  

“Customer service shouldn’t just be a department; it should be the entire company”  
Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos 

The opportunity is now 

Attending the UAE Trade Mission in Dubai was as interesting as it was unique. I was privileged to talk to leaders in finance, and banks on the frontier of change. As the region continues to grow at breakneck speeds, one thing is for certain… We want to be a part of it.  

Thank you to everyone who made the trip so memorable and fruitful. I’d like to especially thank David Butcher and the team at London & Partners, joining the group was a privilege. I very much look forward to returning.   

If you would like to talk more about a partnership, I’d love to continue the conversation. 

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William Rouse
William Rouse

Commercial Director
UK MEA North America
Wealth Dynamix

Wealth Dynamix delivers Client Lifecycle Management solutions to the world’s leading private banks and wealth and asset management firms.

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