Olivier Crespin, Co-founder and CEO of Zand, says a digital bank can be a gateway between fiat currency and crypto currency Image Credit: Anas Thacharpadikkal/Gulf News

“If you want to build a digital bank, don't try to build a bank, but build a platform with a banking licence,” says Olivier Crespin, Co-founder and CEO of Zand, the region's first fully digital bank, in the third episode of the Future Now podcast series by Gulf News in association with Microsoft UAE.

Speaking to host Ihsan Anabtawi, COO & CMO of Microsoft UAE, Crespin explains, “In digital banking, you have two things. You have digital, and you have banking. So, you have to combine two different DNAs. The DNA of banking is about compliance, risk management, trust and financial expertise. Digital DNA is about customer-centricity. You build products for the client, not for the bank. You leverage analytics to provide the best service to the client with the best offer using the latest technology. So, the combination of the two is what makes a digital bank.”

Host of Future Now podcast series and COO and CMO of Microsoft UAE, Ihsan Anabtawi (left) with Olivier Crespin, Co-founder and CEO of Zand

The podcast discusses how existing banks are transforming through digitalisation and how this is different from creating a digital bank from the outset with its analytic platform architecture and the advantages that come with it.

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“When you have a digital bank, obviously security is key and cyber security is fundamental,” he says. “So you have to find the right kind of [technical] solutions.”

With the right solutions in place, Crespin says this is the ideal region for launching a digital bank.

“The UAE is a perfect place to create a digital bank. You can onboard someone with a digital Emirates ID and facial recognition. Everything is in place to be able to build a bank. The government in the UAE are very supportive of any digital initiative.”

To learn more about Crespin’s views on how a digital bank can be a gateway between fiat currency and crypto currency, check out the New Age in Banking episode, which will be launched on Wednesday, September 14. It will also be available on all the leading podcast channels as well as agnc3’s YouTube channel.