Get FREE CONSULTATION with our team of experts! Click here to start!
Office - 216, Bank Street Building,

Bank Street Road,Burjuman,Dubai,UAE

+971 52 352 5763

Mon-Sat 9am-6pm

24 X 7 online support

Expat Guide to Mobile Banking in the United Arab Emirates

Expat Guide to Mobile Banking in the United Arab Emirates | Dhanguard

As consumers become more spoiled for choice when it comes to payment choices, acceptance of mobile wallets is expanding in the UAE. Residents may now pay at supermarkets, hotels, department stores, fuel stations, taxis, movies, and many more outlets with a single tap of their smartphone or smartwatch. Moreover, banks and payment providers are moving ahead with the country's digital payment landscape. In the UAE, mobile payments are booming, with double-digit transaction growth expected in the near future. The advent of digitization and the booming penetration of the internet and smartphones has further augmented the adoption of mobile banking in the country as well. Our study further explains the features, benefits, and policies with regards to mobile banking.

What is Mobile Banking?

Making financial transactions on a mobile device is known as mobile banking (cell phone, tablet, etc.). This activity can range from a bank sending fraud or usage activities to a client's cell phone to a client paying bills or moving money internationally. The ability to bank from anywhere and at any time is one of the benefits of mobile banking. Thus, enabling expats to make transactions easily even from outside their country. When compared to banking in person or on a digital platform, security concerns and a limited range of capabilities are disadvantages.

Mobile Banking in the UAE

Smartphone applications have been the main method of accessing banking services in the UAE since 2017. Citizens and expats in the country are increasingly demanding the platforms to handle their basic banking needs without having to speak with a bank consultant in person or over the phone. According to new data, residents in the UAE prefer mobile apps. According to a recent survey, 83 percent of respondents choose online banking platforms and smartphone apps because of their ease, availability around the clock, and security. As a result, there is a diverse range of mobile apps available. Local and international banks in the UAE now provide online services ranging from international remittances to currency conversion. Mobile banking in the United Arab Emirates is advanced compared to many other nations due to the high adoption of smartphones and excellent digital infrastructure across the nation. As a result, banks may take advantage of this ecosystem to serve the large number of expats who make regular foreign transfers for personal and business reasons. As a result, digital banking in the UAE is highly developed, and expats moving to the nation can expect to open bank accounts via their cellphones in a matter of minutes. According to Citibank data, overall mobile banking usage increased by a double-digit growth rate. In addition, 90 percent of UAE residents now bank online. Mobile banking is frequently the preferred method for residents to access their cash, because of the country's high smartphone adoption. Furthermore, mobile payments have soared in the UAE in recent years, following global trends. As the country gets closer to being a cashless society, technology improvements have made it possible for consumers and companies to plan, make, and receive digital payments for a variety of goods and services.

How can Expats use Mobile Banking in the UAE?

Expats can open mobile bank accounts with a limited number of banks only. The services offered by these banks allow you to open an account online in a matter of hours. A local delivery service will call you within a day and drop you your new debit card when you have downloaded the app, scanned your Emirates ID, and topped up your account. You will also be given an IBAN account number and a Swift code, allowing you to transfer money to and from any other bank account almost instantly. Furthermore, you will be requested to produce a photocopy of your passport as well as a copy of your resident visa when opening a mobile bank account.

Documentation to Open a Bank Account as an Expat

Expats without residency visas are only allowed to create a savings account in the UAE. This account does not usually come with a checkbook. Instead, most banks will offer an ATM card, allowing customers to withdraw funds while they wait for their resident visas.

The paperwork you'll need to open a bank account as a non-resident differs from bank to bank, but in general, these are some of the common documents required:

  • Original and copy of passport with UAE entrance stamp
  • Passport photo
  • Completed application form
  • Confirmation that your residency visa or Emirate ID card is being processed
  • Letter of recommendation from the prior bank
  • Letter of No Objection from either your sponsor or employer

Features to be expected by Expats

Mobile banking offers a plethora of features to users. Given below is the number of features that the expats can expect while using mobile banking in the UAE:

  • Round-the-clock access to account balances, account history, and transactions.
  • Payments for utility and telephone bills
  • Payments by credit card
  • Applications for loans and mortgages
  • Opening of new accounts
  • Money transfers, both domestically and internationally, to partner or correspondent banks in the UAE.
  • Comparisons of exchange rates
  • Setting up and deactivating standing orders
  • Alerts about security and fraud
  • Services related to travel
  • Loyalty programme rewards

What are the Institutions that offer Mobile Banking in the UAE?

Given below is the list of institutions that provide mobile banking services in the UAE:

  • Liv
  • Neo
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank
  • Emirates NBD
  • Mashreq
  • Dubai Islamic Bank
  • HSBC
  • Citibank
  • Standard Chartered


Looking forward to moving to UAE, need a new Bank Account. Connect with us and help us choose the right bank and the right service for you. Our expert team has a connection with a pool of banks across the country. Thus, enabling you to open your account in a hassle-free manner. If you require any services regarding opening your bank account in the UAE, please contact us and we will gladly assist you.


Frequently Asked Questions

The services that can be availed are request for cheque book, you can activate your card, set PIN using the digital Banking.

Customers who use digital banking frequently uses features such as loyalty programs and discounts through their mobile application. It is also said they will open their accounts with banks that offers these relevant features.

Yes, you can update your address and emirates ID using Digital banking.

Generally, there is no fees levied up on opening your account through digital banking. You just need to register using user id and password.

Get Instant Advice
Where To Find Us