Start-up aims to boost financial inclusion across Arab world

By | Jun 24, 2018

According to a recent study by the World Bank, Arabic nations have experienced a surge in adults who are accessing banking services. The World Bank goes on to indicate that a total of 69% in the adult sector have an official bank account with a registered bank or mobile money access on a global platform.

The report further delves deep into Middle East statistics. Of the total population in North America and the Arab world, 20% of them do send or receive money, though they do not have official accounts.

This specific stat comes as a relief and progress considering that many people had no official accounts previously. It's simply visible from the word go that countries producing a humongous gross domestic product (GDP) per single capita have cumulative yet significant numbers of low efficient banking sectors. Examples are derived from the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC).

A critical assessment of such an economic phenomenon shows that the wider working base has a low-to-medium working force. Just to back up this immediate evaluation, 80% of the whole population in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) fails to participate fully in the national financial grid because they do not possess formal bank accounts, suitable insurance policies, and official payment options (credit cards, loan options, etc.).

Though numbers are laying on the backside, it's key to note that much work is being put into motion for banks to transition from a narrow/conventional stage to a broad approach. It's all about the inclusivity of the gross working in achieving a better financial cause.

Great works have been put into place to achieve this common cause and such groundbreaking initiatives include the 27th of April 2021 declaration. The day will be used to commemorate Arab Financial Inclusion, first propounded in 2018. For more on that, you can visit the page of Economy on ArabFinancials.


In Comes Now Money

Ian Dillon, an avid financial consultant, and confounder of a Dubai-based tech firm, Now Money, said that 70% of the total workforce is still lagging when it comes to standard salary pegs required to open an official bank account, though most of them do make and consider overseas money transfers.

Now Money, on its initial financial quarters in business, had a single dominating agenda which was to create an appropriate financial service platform for low-income earners. The initiative was meant to target workers in the Gulf area.

The low-income base is occupied by hands-on professions like taxi driving, laborers, and hotel staff. The annual remittance tag is staggering, standing at $30 billion, and stands as one of the biggest in the world on an annual basis.

In actual fact, Dubai has the third-largest remittance line in the world. Dillon added that the tally is basically influenced by the 98% mobile access record for people in Dubai.

Now Money looks to make mobile money transactions the new broad ordeal for third-class workers. The use of the mobile app will be very pivotal in their quest. An official smartphone application well structured to allow fast financial catering through credit and debit card links was launched. With a total of 5 years in the business, Now Money continues to provide customers with sound financial services.

It's also possible for low-income earners to make online payments, as well as access cash machines. To broaden their reach, Now Money has fused with 20 companies all based in service provision.

Dillon explicitly explained that banks shun low-income earners because their line of business is based on perennial deposits and lending, something impossible for third-class workers who are only able to withdraw money rather than a deposit.


Now Money’s Agenda

Where did Now Money's agenda and objective emanate from? Well, co-founders saw that a captive and significant tech-savvy market movement was at their disposal and it was only a matter of time before they started to use the concept for a sound mobile application construction.

It's a success because 5 million low-income earners across Dubai are currently benefiting, while 25 million from the Gulf area are also reaping benefits. For Dillon, expansion has shown the green light, and soon, Now Money will be the new financial household name.

Now Money was officially launched in May 2016. The money transfer company is co-founded by Ian Dillon and Katharine Budd.

Legalities fall under NOW Holdings UAE Limited. As we have mentioned in the torso of this article, Now Money offers mobile banking services and account management for low-income earners. It's the ultimate solution for many financial problems that have been haunting the majority of Arabic workers.

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