Stock - ADIB Turbo
Abu Dhabi's ADIB wants to help you decide on the next car purchase. With Turbo, it can. Image Credit: Supplied

Dubai: Bank finance for a new car purchase – that’s standard practice.

Using a bank to buy or sell a car, new and pre-owned? That’s quite a radical path, and that is exactly where ADIB (Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank) is headed with the launch of ‘Turbo’, a portal that offers the consumer a choice of models from local dealerships plus pre-owned models from the online seller Cars24 and YallaCompare.

 Philip King, Global Head of Retail Banking at ADIB
“Digital banking creates so many opportunities – there are still eco-systems that a bank like ourselves can get into. It is a way for us and consumers to think way beyond traditional banking services,” said Philip King, Global Head of Retail Banking at ADIB.

Sure seems like quite the departure from what to expect from a bank. That’s how Philip King, Global Head of Retail Banking at ADIB wants it: “Digital banking is about taking banking services beyond the usual. We saw an opportunity to expand into an eco-system – the car market – and offer something more to consumers. In doing so, we have become the first Sharia-based bank to do so.”

The automotive retail sector in the UAE is now in the midst of a digital makeover. Established dealerships are getting into online ways of selling; there are more platforms offering an end-to-end selling and buying of used cars; and new ways of mobility such as subscription services and pay-by-the-minute are more frequent on UAE roads.

Not just a detour

ADIB is already a dominant name in the auto financing space, and creating the Turbo platform is seen as natural extension. All of the leading local dealerships have signed up – Turbo will offer instant car finance quotes for someone wanting to buy. Insurance-related pricing too will be provided, while anyone wanting to do so can trade-on or sell his/her vehicle.

Right now, all of it will be done through the website, but soon a Turbo app will go live.

Once established, Turbo could complete the entire process of buying and selling of cars completely online, as well as offer after-sales needs as well. “Not just ADIB customers, we expect to bring in others to make their next car purchase through Turbo,” said King. “That’s the way we see moving into this eco-system – and any new ones we will create in future.”

If non-ADIB users end up buying, it does open up possibilities for the bank to offer financing for the deal to a new set of potential customers.

Aggressive with digital

In recent months, ADIB has been quite the early bird on digital moves. It launched facial recognition to open an account from “anywhere”, then had an app-based platform to extend banking’s reach to 8-18-year olds, “of course, under the guidance of their parents,” said King. “It’s also an attempt to raise financial awareness from a much younger age.