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UAE’s first independent digital banking platform expands into Saudi, other countries

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YAP, the first independent digital banking platform in the United Arab Emirates, has raised $41 million to fund its operations and growth, with the company to expand into Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Pakistan, and Ghana.

The latest investment comes from Saudi Arabia’s Aljazira Capital alongside investments from Abu Dawood Group, Astra Group, Audacia Capital and key strategic family offices.

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YAP plans to complete its Series A funding by the end of the year.

Dubai-based YAP, a neobank, launched in March in 2021 under a partnership agreement with RAK Bank which provides international bank account numbers for YAP users and secures their funds under its own banking license. To date, more than 130,000 users have signed up for the app.

The company announced on Monday that it has partnered with Bank AlJazira, a Saudi Arabian financial group, to launch its consumer and business banking platforms in the Kingdom.

YAP has also received regulatory approval in Pakistan and Ghana to offer similar services in those countries and plans to soon launch in Egypt.

“YAP continues to redefine the fintech sector in the region and our robust product development pipeline reflects the growing needs of our customers,” said YAP co-founder and group CEO Marwan Hachem. “There is incredible demand for fintech products in the region and we are well placed to be a market leader to address these needs.”

YAP offers a simple digital user interface that provides a complete view of a consumer’s spending analytics, easy ways to transfer money and pay bills, and real-time notifications of purchases, withdrawals, and transfers.

With no minimum balance required and a host of money and financial service tools, the app is “designed to change the way people bank in the region,” said Hachem.

The app also offers a virtual card for secure online shopping. YAP’s product development pipeline includes a new multi-currency offering, products for children and households, equity trading, loans and buy now pay later through the YAP Store, the YAP Financial Marketplace and the YAP Hub.

YAP Co-founder and Managing Director Anas Zaidan said: “The momentum and growth we have seen since our launch validates the need for the YAP platform throughout the region. We look forward to expanding into new markets and enhancing our offering in the months ahead with these investments.”

Like other neobanks which do not have physical branches, YAP does not offer traditional banking services like loans and mortgages, but offers spending and budgeting analytics, peer-to-peer payments and remittances services and bill payments.

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