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Liv – A New Model for Digital Banking in the Middle East
After more than a year in service, Liv developed an innovative digital banking solution for the UAE, but needs to evolve quickly to stay ahead of both domestic competitors and new market entrants.

November 05, 2018 | Richard Hartung
  • Emirates NBD used a new model to launch Liv, developing a middle layer rather than using an expensive platform and also outsourcing many functions
  • Liv uses data analytics and AI to deliver recommendations to customers, such as suggesting free activities when they exceed their spending budget
  • It will need to evolve quickly, though, to stay ahead of both domestic competitors and new market entrants.

Introduction and the challenge (combined)

When it set out to develop a new digital bank, Emirates NBD took a different approach from traditional banks which often simply extend their existing services to a digital platform. NBD set up Liv as an app that changes the way it looks at its customers, with services designed around the customer’s lifestyle, education, finances, mental wellness and physical wellness.

Customers who log in can see their preferred activities and personalized feeds based on what they like to do. If customers are running low on cash because they spent too much last weekend, for instance, Liv may tell them about free events the next weekend.

And based on the success of Liv so far, NBD plans to take the model to three new markets over the next year.

The onboarding processes is straight through processed at the front and back office. Once the customer downloads the app, clicks on ‘Apply’, and fills information in a form, documents and photos can be uploaded through the app in the camera. For clean cases, customers are notified of the account opening immediately. The bank applies enhanced KYC using biometrics to avoid form filling and data are populated via API feeds from partners. Compliance and black list checks are done in real time.

Upon approval, a physical card is delivered to the customer the next day. At the time of card delivery, the Emirates ID chip is read, data on the chip is auto-populated in the systems, and the customer finge...

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Keywords: Digital Bank, KYC, Biometrics, Technology, AI, Chatbots, Payments, Fund Transfers, Digital Solution