The first independent digital banking platform in the UAE was recently launched, a neobank hoping to become a leader in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.
Like any other neobanks, YAP too does not have physical branches and traditional banking services like loans and mortgages, but offers spending and budgeting analytics, remittances services, peer-to-peer payments and bill payments.
The Dubai-based YAP does not have a banking licence itself but has partnered with RAK Bank that provides international bank account numbers for YAP users and secures their funds under its own banking licence.
Acccording to Katral-Nada Hassan, Head of Product, YAP is also in the process of joining hands with banks in other countries, including a bank in Saudi, Pakistan and Ghana. Hassan stressed that there are challenges for fintechs looking to expand to the UAE. “There are a lot of fintechs right now looking at partnering with banks, but that requires a lot of discussion, relationship building… It is not an easy thing to do:”, she said.