ADQ, Alpha Dhabi, Etisalat and FAB to launch ‘Wio’

Plans for the Beta launch are on track for Q1 2022 in the UAE
Plans for the Beta launch are on track for Q1 2022 in the UAE

The next generation banking platform is set to unleash the power of the UAE's digital economy


A Staff Reporter

Published: Fri 11 Feb 2022, 3:02 PM

ADQ, an Abu Dhabi-based investment and holding company, has announced that the Central Bank of the UAE has granted an in-principle approval to launch a new digital banking platform, which will be called Wio.

With its headquarters in Abu Dhabi, Wio will enhance the capital’s growing reputation as a global financial services center at the leading edge of digital banking. Led by globally experienced FinTech experts, banking professionals and technology specialists, Wio will offer customers in the UAE a fully digital banking choice with tailored products and services to meet their lifestyles and needs. Wio will soon launch a Beta version that will initially provide small and medium-sized businesses with an innovative, engaging customer-centric experience underpinned by security, transparency and convenience.

The total invested capital in Wio is Dh2.3 billion plus in-kind contribution. The digital banking platform’s primary shareholders ADQ and Alpha Dhabi, one of the fast-growing investments holding companies in the Middle East, own a combined stake of 65 per cent. Additionally, Etisalat, one of the world’s leading telecom and tech conglomerates, holds 25 per cent, and First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), one of the world’s largest and safest financial institutions, holds 10 per cent.

Mohamed Hassan Alsuwaidi, chief executive officer of ADQ, said: “As part of our efforts to future-proof Abu Dhabi’s economy, we are committed to enhancing the financial services sector. By delivering secure, transparent and seamless access to a cutting-edge, customer-centric digital banking platform, Wio’s unique business model will further strengthen the UAE’s digital economy that is already supported by robust infrastructure and progressive regulations.”

Hamad Salem Mohamed Al-Ameri, MD and CEO of Alpha Dhabi, said: “The upcoming launch of Wio will be significant for Abu Dhabi as it will help establish the emirate’s leadership in financial services in the digital age. Our Dh850 million investment in Wio is part of the strategy we announced last December to invest in promising sectors within and outside the UAE. Wio presents a strong investment opportunity for Alpha Dhabi, and we look forward to working together to support its growth.”

Khalifa Hassan Al Shamsi, CEO of Etisalat Consumer Digital, said: “The fintech industry is a key driver of digital transformation in the UAE and has grown exponentially due to changing consumer payment behavior as well as new tech-driven convenient offerings. Customers are increasingly adopting contactless payments in physical stores as well as using fully digital financial products."

"Building on our fintech portfolio, the Wio partnership is part of our strategy to meet the growing consumer demands with 360-degree products and services that enhance their daily digital lives. We want to empower consumers with services that are easily accessible, and we are committed to ensuring Wio delivers optimum connectivity and an unrivalled user experience,” he said.

Hana Al Rostamani, group CEO, First Abu Dhabi Bank, added: “FAB is proud to be a partner at the forefront of Abu Dhabi’s digital agenda, creating broader value for our stakeholders through strategic partnerships and initiatives built to innovate and inspire the future of financial services in the UAE. The launch of Wio represents an important next step in that journey, bringing a new and innovative approach to banking.”

Pronounced “wee-oh”, the name Wio describes the company’s active purpose of ‘opening new paths so you can go further’. Putting customers at the heart of everything it does, the ‘W’ is the shape of your path and your journey that Wio enables through digital, the “i” represents input and the “o” represents output.

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