Digital bank Wio set to launch in UAE following central bank approval
Abu Dhabi investment firm ADQ is set to launch a new digital banking platform called Wio following an in-principle approval from the Central Bank of UAE.
Wio is also supported by investment holding company Alpha Dhabi, which together with ADQ owns a combined stake of 65%.
Telecoms and tech conglomerate Etisalat holds a 25% stake and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) holds 10%. The total invested capital in Wio is AED 2.3 billion ($626 million) plus in-kind contributions.
Pronounced ‘wee-oh’, the digital bank will be headquartered in Abu Dhabi and will offer customers “a fully digital banking choice with tailored products and services to meet their lifestyles and needs”.
Set to beta launch in the UAE in Q1 2022, the digital bank will initially cater to the country’s SMEs.
ADQ CEO Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi says the digital bank is part of the firm’s efforts to “future-proof” Abu Dhabi’s economy.
“Wio’s unique business model will further strengthen the UAE’s digital economy that is already supported by robust infrastructure and progressive regulations,” Alsuwaidi adds.
FAB’s group CEO Hana Al Rostamani says the launch of Wio represents an “important step” in the establishment of Abu Dhabi’s digital agenda and brings a “new and innovative approach to banking”.