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Wio appoints execs to drive digital banking push

Wio chairman Salem Al Nuaimi and CEO Jayesh Patel. Image supplied

Wio Bank, a new digital banking platform established in the UAE, today announced senior leadership appointments following its licence approval by the UAE Central Bank.

Salem Al Nuaimi has been named chairman of the board and Jayesh Patel has been appointed as CEO.

Wio is jointly owned by Abu Dhabi Holding Company (ADQ), Alpha Dhabi, Etisalat, and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) with an initial capital of AED 2.3 billion ($630 million).

With a vision to simplify banking services for consumers in the UAE, Wio said it aims to build its financial and non-financial capabilities by teaming up with other fintech startups.

The first product to be introduced, Wio Business, is a dedicated app for SMEs, entrepreneurs, and freelancers, and will offer a full suite of business banking solutions to small and large companies in the region. 

Al Nuaimi, who holds several leadership positions at high profile organisations, including ADQ and the Abu Dhabi Pension Fund, said: “It’s an exciting time for the banking industry as it grows to adapt to the ever-changing needs of customers. Today, we are catering to an audience that is digitally savvy and expects solutions that are intuitive, fundamental, and easy-to-use. 

“In Wio, we have a highly evolved and adaptable digital platform that will open new paths for its customers and simplify the process of money management. I am very happy to join the very strong and capable team that is working behind the scenes to bring this innovative digital banking journey to customers in the UAE.”

CEO Patel, who spearheaded the creation of Liv., a digital-only lifestyle bank which quickly became the fastest growing in the country, added: “Wio is an intelligent, integrated financial platform that will provide innovative solutions tailored to people’s lifestyles and business needs. 

“As an open platform, Wio will partner with local and global providers to facilitate access to tools and services that will support our customers’ life ambitions. The aim is to make banking convenient, transparent, and intuitive, and create a better future for our customers by transforming the way they bank in the region.”

Digital banking is gaining traction in the region as financial organisations seek to seize on opportunities thrown up by fintech.

Zand, a platform helmed by Emaar founder and chairman Mohamed Alabbar, which will offer both retail and corporate banking, in the UAE is expected to launch soon.

Late last year, Zand’s shareholders completed the acquisition of the majority of shares in Dubai Bank ahead of its planned launch.

Emirates NBD, Dubai’s largest bank, launched Liv., the UAE’s first digital bank targeted at millennials, back in 2017.