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It’s the year for digital financial products

With the rapid growth in ownership of mobile and tablet devices, consumers today want to be able to access financial services and transact with retailers in their own convenience. Last year saw some interesting new products introduced in Dubai, including mobile banking applications.

The drive to go digital will result in the introduction of more mobile and e-commerce based financial products in the UAE this year, according to experts in the Information and Technology sector. Products that will allow customers to do remote check deposits or settle their household bills using their smartphone or tablet camera will be among the standouts.

“2013 was the year when we saw a large number of leading financial institutions debut their mobile banking applications. Market reception to these has been highly positive since consumers are now extremely familiar and dependent on their mobile devices,” said Samer Ismair, Brocade network consultant, Middle East and North Africa region.

Ismair said the success of each offering will largely depend on a product’s security, performance, functionality, robustness, device compatibility, design and ease of use.

“We can also expect advancement in functionality as customers now rely on these applications for more than just checking balances and transferring funds. Remote deposit capture and mobile photo bill pay are features that have proved to be differentiators in mature markets and it is likely that these would be well received in the UAE, too,” he added.

Those that respond to the growing trend will clearly gain customer loyalty. “There has been a considerable rise of Wi-Fi usage in the banking environment to deliver context, such as location and user-based services. This creates loyalty between the brand and the consumer,” noted Manish Bhardwaj, regional marketing manager for Middle East and Turkey at Aruba Networks.