Emirates NBD, the largest bank in Dubai in terms of assets, has entered into an equity investment partnership with Komgo, a Geneva-based digital trade finance platform, as part of its strategic initiatives to enhance its digital services through collaboration with fintech companies
The United Arab Emirates has positioned itself as a global leader in fintech, driven by its exceptional levels of digital and smartphone penetration. This thriving digital ecosystem has provided fertile ground for financial technology companies and traditional banks to pioneer innovative digital solutions. A development in this sector is the emergence of neobanks, which have strategically appealed to the tech-savvy population in the UAE.
Fintech innovation fund
This investment in Komgo was made through Emirates NBD’s Innovation Fund, a corporate venture funding platform established earlier this year. The specific financial details of the stake acquisition were not disclosed. The primary aim of the fund is to enhance the potential synergies arising from strategic alliances, leveraging the bank’s digital aspirations and regional expertise in conjunction with the agility and technological innovations offered by fintech firms.
Acquisition details remain undisclosed
Ahmed Al Qassim, the Group Head of Wholesale Banking at Emirates NBD, said that the bank’s recognition of the rapid changes taking place within the fintech sector and its commitment to identifying and supporting emerging technologies will play a pivotal role in shaping the future of the financial industry.
Komgo is known as the world’s largest multi-bank trade finance network, provides solutions that streamline treasury, credit, trade finance operations, and communication processes. With a global user base exceeding 10,000 enterprises and operational offices in key cities like Singapore, Paris, London, Toronto and Houston, the company facilitates transactions valued at approximately US $1 billion daily through its network.
Emirates NBD’s investment in Komgo aligns with the latter’s strategy of strengthening ties with prominent financial institutions, as demonstrated earlier this year when Santander Corporate and Investment Banking, based in Spain, also made an equity investment in Komgo in June.
Divergence: traditional banking to fintech
Fintechs signify a revolutionary shift in banking services, moving away from the need for physical branches in favour of a seamless digital experience. Unlike the conventional banking approach, neobanks and fintechs streamline online operations, leveraging cutting-edge technologies such as facial recognition for instant, hassle-free account creation.
As Fintechs continually evolve to cater to the ever-changing preferences of consumers, they are swiftly gaining traction in various countries, offering highly user-friendly and efficient banking solutions. Among these pioneering fintechs, E20 by Emirates NBD stands out as an exemplary success story.
Emirates NBD’s E20
E20 is a fully digital business bank that places a premium on speed, convenience, affordability, and paperless transactions. Breaking free from the traditional banking model, E20 operates without physical branches or ATMs. E20 recently formed a strategic partnership with MoniMove, a move that provided support for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Through this collaborative effort, users engaging in transactions on the MoniMove platform can anticipate increased transparency and credibility, enabling E20 to gain valuable insights into end-to-end transactions and interactions with suppliers.