Moody’s said that the launch of E20. is credit positive for Emirates NBD because it will provide the bank with better access to the underserved SMEs customer segment as well as increase the lender’s customer base.
E20. is Emirates NBD’s second digital bank, following the success of Liv., the UAE’s first lifestyle-based digital bank for millennials and Gen-Z which was launched in 2017.
In addition to providing banking services, E20. will provide business owners the digital tools to generate invoices, track receivables, view P&L statements as well as make and reconcile payments to vendors and suppliers.
The rating agency stated that the launch of E20. will support Emirates NBD’s profitability through fee income from the various services provided as well as interest income on loans provided to this high yielding segment.
SMEs account for a small portion of UAE banks’ loans while constituting a much larger portion of the country’s economy, however, the underserving of this segment reflects the limited financial information available on SMEs, combined with UAE banks’ focus on high-quality, large corporate and government-related entities given higher delinquencies in the SMEs segment following the decline in oil prices mid-2014, said Moody’s.
E20.’s beta launch will be initially available by invitation to a select group of entrepreneurs, allowing them to test key features such as the digital onboarding journey.
Emirates NBD said that the digital business bank will enable start-ups, sole proprietors together with freelancers, gig economy workers as well as fintechs and insurtechs to open a bank account and carry out their day-to-day banking requirements easily through a mobile app as well as access a variety of services to help them in managing their business.