Four years in the making, one of the three digital bank licensees in Saudi Arabia is now at the cusp of launching its operations.
“With internal operations now live, D360 Bank is due to announce very soon when it will open its doors for public registration,” said Acting CEO Mohammed Ghonaim at a conference last week.
D360 Bank was granted a license by the Saudi Central Bank in February last year, becoming the third neobank in the Kingdom to be regulated. It is one of two Shariah digital banks, the other being Saudi Digital Bank, which was approved by the Saudi cabinet in mid-2021.
Established with a capital of SAR1.65 billion (US$439.39 million) through a consortium of individual and institutional investors led by Derayah Financial Company, the D360 Bank is backed by Public Investment Fund as well as venture capital companies such as Hala Ventures and STV.
“We have a license in place, some great partners, and we see D360 Bank serving the underserved segments of banking, the Kingdom’s youth, SMEs, and B2B markets and indeed all untapped areas of banking, with a focus on banking made simple and customer-centric,” shared D360 Bank Chairman Taha Al Kuwaiz.
According to Taha, about 96-99% of Derayah Financial Company’s customers are using digital channels, alluding to the firm’s affinity with digital technology. As a provider of Shariah compliant investment services, it is no surprise that Derayah Financial Company is positioning the bank to fully align with Islamic principles.
“D360 Bank has adopted advanced technologies that rely mainly on data to effectively serve clients through Shariah compliant products and services that meet their needs, now and in the future, in line with the Vision 2030 objectives related to digitization and support for SMEs,” said Mohammed.
Saudi Arabia is home to 35 banks including the three digital banks. According to the IFN Islamic Fintech Landscape, there are at least 37 start-ups offering Shariah compliant fintech solutions in the Kingdom as of the 21st March 2023.