x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Mobile banking app maker eyes Gulf market

Mobile banking app developers are being drawn to the region as more banks turn to technology to reach their customers by phone.

Mobile banking app developers are being drawn to the region as more banks turn to technology to reach their customers by phone.

Tagit, one of the world's biggest mobile-banking applications developers is being attracted by the high mobile penetration of the region.

The Singapore-based company develops mobile and tablet applications for banks and other enterprises and counts Standard Chartered, Citibank and Singapore's largest bank, DBS, among its clients. It said it was in negotiations with companies in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

"The Middle East is a very important market for us - much more than anywhere else in the world," said Navtej Singh, the president and head of business development at Tagit.

"We find that Europe has its set of problems, it will take some time to get out of its mess. The US is highly competitive and not in our immediate radar, but I think where we have a niche is Asia and the Middle East and possibly some spots in Africa."

The company operates in 14 markets and already works with Commercial Bank of Dubai, but is keen to expand in the UAE.

Tagit has its own software platform, called Mobeix, which pulls in content from a firm's website to create the app.

Mr Singh said mobile banking had become the preferred channel of conducting banking services in India and China, and the Middle East was likely to follow given the high level of mobile penetration in the region surpassing even online banking, which has a relatively low penetration and usage level here.

"Banking is very advanced in Asia and the Middle East, these are young areas and rich with very affluent emerging economies. The banks are doing extremely well, they are investing a lot in new technology because the people are dependent on mobile phones," said Mr Singh. "We expect a quantum leap will be made by the mobile [because of] the ease with which you use it. There is no need for a PC - adoption of banking will be far better on mobile."

Most recently the UAE Central Bank and Etisalat and du agreed to work together to make mobile banking easier and cheaper in the country to raise the value of mobile transactions.

 

thamid@thenational.ae