Dubai: With smart mobile gadgets becoming increasingly part of everyday life, banks in the UAE are on the race to create next-generation products that allow consumers to sort out their finances while on the go.
Emirates NBD is the latest to debut a mobile banking app that seeks to engage customers with saving for their future by bringing an element of fun into it.
Called “Shake n’ Save”, the new product enables users of iPhone, iPad, Android and BlackBerry10 to deposit small amounts of money straight from their mobile phone or tablet.
All they need to do is download the “Shake n’ Save” app, open an account and preset their desired savings goals that range between Dh50 and Dh2,000. When the urge to save comes, users only need to shake their mobile device and the app will generate a random figure within the preset amounts. The money will then be immediately transferred from a standard debit account to the “Shake n’ Save” account.
“With this product, we are offering our mobile banking customers an innovative opportunity to save money while having some fun at the same time. This is also in line with the [government initiative] to create and develop new mobile services in the UAE,” said Suvo Sarkar, general manager for retail banking at Emirates NBD.
Customers can do unlimited “shakes” per day. Another upside is that the interest is calculated on a daily basis and customers will earn two per cent per annum on any amount up to Dh100,000. However, there is no chequebook or debit card linked to this account, and savers cannot make transactions, payments or remittances from this account.
With the new product, the bank hopes to attract more customers from the young, tech-savvy demographics. Recent figures from Google’s Mobile Planet showed that the UAE has the world’s highest smartphone penetration rate in the first quarter of 2013, at 73.8 per cent, higher than South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Singapore.
Pedro Cardoso, head of multichannel and customer relationship management at Emirates NBD said the product has a strong potential to attract the young, financially independent consumers in the UAE.
“In a country where large disposable incomes and access to luxurious lifestyles are the norm, savings habits fall well below the global average,” he said.