UAE: Post-Covid digital banking goals focus on attracting Gen Z customers, hyper-personalisation of services

Tech products in the sector have taken greater precedence than ever before and bankers must develop innovative solutions to appeal world’s most socially-focused generation


Dhanusha Gokulan

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram


Delegates in Digibank 2022. Photo by Shihab
Delegates in Digibank 2022. Photo by Shihab

Published: Wed 14 Sep 2022, 7:47 PM

Last updated: Wed 14 Sep 2022, 7:55 PM

A special banking system tailormade to meet the needs of Generation Z (Gen Z) audiences could come around very soon. Moreover, social media analytics could come to play in making credit decisions for borrowers, top FinTech and digital banking heads told audiences in Dubai on Wednesday.

Following the pandemic, both mainstream and neobanks have said they have begun creating processes that would create products specifically for the Gen Z public. Generation Z are the demographic cohort succeeding Millennials and are roughly 10-25 years old at the moment, and neobanks, sometimes referred to as ‘challenger banks,’ are fintech firms that offer apps, software and other technologies to streamline mobile and online banking.

Top leaders in the banking sector were speaking at the third edition of Khaleej Times DigiBank 2022 – the Banking Transformation Forum.

The one-day event, which took place on September 14, saw participation from some of the most influential figures in the banking and fintech industries.

Post-pandemic, the importance of using tech products in the banking sector has taken greater precedence than ever before. According to official statistics, Gen Z will make up approximately 31 per cent of the global population in 2021. Over 32 per cent of Gen Z transactions happen on a mobile device, and good company ratings and reviews inspire 62 per cent of Gen Z to feel confident to buy.

Given Gen Z customers’ influence, bankers must develop innovative solutions to appeal to the world’s most socially focused and technologically advanced generation.

Anand Krishnan, director – head of technology, Emirates Investment Bank, said, “Gen Z expect simplicity and agility. Their requirements simplify things for Baby Boomers and Millennials as well. Once you (banks) align with their value system, they would stay with the brand for a longer time than other age groups.”

Meanwhile, Eyad Al Qudsi, head of digital banking, United Arab Bank, “The Gen Z are 32 per cent of the entire population; and they are very close to technology. They are generating US$ 145 billion. We must see their engagement and how they interact with the market.”

He added. “We have to do some checks before banking with them, of course; however, the process needs to be simple. Most of them are influencers, and a poor interaction can reflect badly on bankers.”

Meanwhile, Neeraj Gupta, chief executive officer at, “Regulations are evolving to cater to this consumer. We have to be ahead of communications instead of being reactive or proactive.”

To tackle these challenges, Gupta said there need to be synergies between different financial institutions. “We need to collaborate specifically on this generation,” explained Gupta.

Krishnan added, “There is a catch-up game between institutions and the Gen Z. Unfortunately, GenZ has come into a period of recession, wars, a pandemic, and a digital transformation. They have been on a constant journey trying to realign. However, this has made them much stronger.”

“There is a definite need for rapid upskilling; innovate to simplify things. They want a more concise form of market trends, and there is an increasing trend of investment products suited for GenZ as well,” he added.

Qudsi also stressed the need for personalising interactions with Gen Z customers. “When you personalise interaction with a GenZ customer or clients of any age group, it’s a key point to gain a long-time consumer. Fintech is bridging the gap between banks and GenZ. However, it cannot work along without banks,” he added.


More news from