UAE Banks Risk Losing Customers if They Don’t Onboard Digitally

UAE Banks Risk Losing Customers if They Don’t Onboard Digitally

Banking customers across the Middle East are eager for easier and more convenient ways to bank, according to a recent survey by digital identity-proofing platform provider IDnow.

The findings feature in IDnow’s ‘Digital Identity Proofing – onboarding opportunities in the UAE’ ebook, available to download now. In it, IDnow unpacks what UAE’s fintech future may look like, and the customer habits shaping it.UAE Banks Risk Losing Customers if They Don't Onboard Digitally

In May 2022, IDnow commissioned YouGov to conduct a consumer survey of 1,000 UAE participants to gather customer perceptions regarding traditional versus digital bank account opening processes.

The survey revealed that 9 out of 10 bank account holders thought opening an account took too much time and that bank onboarding processes are too complicated. Interestingly, 86% of respondents had actually abandoned the bank account opening process due to it being too complicated.

While 82% of bank customers were unhappy at being required to go to a branch and physically hand over documents, more than three quarters of all respondents said they wanted an entirely digital bank account opening process.

Oliver Obitayo

Oliver Obitayo

“Customers across the UAE are crying out for easier ways to open a bank account. We know how deeply UAE banks care about their customers, so these results should be a wake-up call.


Over the past few years, we have seen rapid innovation and improvements in the banking sector, and by deploying the right technology the problems of slow, complicated bank account onboarding can quickly become a thing of the past,”

said Oliver Obitayo, Chief Commercial Officer at IDnow.

For businesses, the merits of digital identity verification and eKYC are clear: significantly reduced onboarding times and overhead costs. Consumers, meanwhile, are turning to digital identity verification because they like to be able to apply for and access services remotely, anywhere and at any time.

Digital identity proofing and verification can help onboarding for a range of financial services, including banking, fintech, digital assets and cryptocurrency platforms.

Diving deeper into the results, the survey highlighted that banks are missing out on certain demographics. Primarily, young people (18-24 years old) were the major age group without a bank account. Nearly 3 in 10 (29%) of this age group did not have a bank account of any kind.

Arguably most importantly, 59% of people who did not have a bank account did not believe the onboarding process was safe or secure enough. Common concerns included fears that documents would not be saved or stored securely; providing personal information to junior-level bank staff; bank technology systems at risk of hacking; and what would happen to their money if the institution collapsed. Prioritizing world-class standards in verification, security and account protection could help to alleviate many of these concerns.

IDnow’s highly configurable identity proofing platform works across multiple regulations, industries and use cases.

Whether automated or expert-assisted, online or point-of-sale, IDnow’s identity-proofing methods have been optimised to meet the strictest security standards and regulatory requirements without compromising on customer conversions or the consumer experience.

To discover more about the banking and fintech landscape in the UAE, download the IDnow Digital Identity Proofing: onboarding opportunities in the UAE ebook.

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