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In the third episode of the Future Now podcast series, Olivier Crespin, Co-founder and CEO of the region's first fully digital bank, Zand, discusses how creating a digital bank from scratch with its analytic platform architecture is different from traditional banks undergoing a digital transformation.

“If you want to build a digital bank, don't try to build a bank, but build a platform with a banking licence,” Crespin tells host Ihsan Anabtawi, COO & CMO of Microsoft UAE, in the episode titled A New Age in Banking, part of the Future Now series by Gulf News in association with Microsoft UAE.

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

“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.

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

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With the right solutions in place, Crespin says 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.”

A New Age in Banking is available on all leading podcast channels as well as agnc3’s YouTube channel.