CLEARLY: A Digital-only Banking Proposition Set to Launch in Dubai
CLEARLY, a new banking proposition is to launch in Dubai this year tearing up everything we know about banking and providing customers with all they need to run their financial life on the go, in real-time.
A new way of banking for the Middle East, CLEARLY is smart and simple to use and ensures customers’ needs are priority. Bringing banking to your fingertips, account opening will be available from anywhere, anytime – completely online, and will let the customer manage all their money on any device: mobile, tablet or computer. Customers are therefore at the heart of the proposition, which will be defined, shaped and crafted in unison by CLEARLY and the customer.
Transparency is paramount to the new banking proposition from CLEARLY. The digital offering will provide a one-stop-shop for its customers,personalising the banking experience to individuals’ financial needs whether that’s related to saving, borrowing or investing.
Commenting on the launch of CLEARLY, CEO Mike Cunningham said: “CLEARLY is a much needed, mobile-first, banking service and our ambition is to build the world’s best banking experience, straight from a mobile phone and without ever becoming a bank.
“The UAE is a great place to do this as it ranks as one of the most technologically developed countries in the world and with consumers being more tech-focused than ever, we see this as a real opportunity to better serve customers. CLEARLY’s new digital banking proposition will place the customer’s needs first, putting banking in their hands and making accessing and growing their money easy.
“Retail banking in the UAE has seen tremendous progress in the last decade, however there continues to be an opportunity to deliver a truly integrated digital banking proposition that genuinely meets the changing needs of customers. CLEARLY is re-defining banking in the Middle East putting the customer in the driving seat and changing the way people bank so profoundly they will never want to go back to the old way of banking again.”
CLEARLY follows a neo banking model which has already proved extremely successful in the UK, Europe, the US, Australia and New Zealand. The model is a direct response to the changing needs of customers who are connected to their devices around the clock and expect a mobile-first offering when it comes to managing their money. Customers will be able to open a bank account in just a couple of minutes, as well as make money transfers, access loans and manage investments from their mobile devices in real-time.
The proposition is backed by European and Middle Eastern investors and supported by a highly-experienced leadership team including CEO Mike Cunningham, formerly of Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and Barclays. Its co-founder and Chief Financial Officer is Fara Remtulla, former director atDeutsche Bank. James Greenwood takes the role of Chief Technology Officer, having held the same role at UK challenger bank, Tandem.
CLEARLY is headquartered in Dubai and has earmarked the UAE as the perfect country in which to launch.
Co-founder and Chief Financial Officer, Fara Remtulla said: “The UAE, and Dubai specifically, have proven time and time again that they are not only the most ambitious country and city in the world, but that they strive to deliver the near impossible. Matched with the Smart Dubai initiative and the UAE’s vision to become a cashless society by 2020, all make for Dubai being the perfect home for CLEARLY.”
The UAE ranks third in the world when it comes to smart phone penetration
and in the Middle East and Africa, smartphone users are expected to grow by 40% to 174m in 2019. A report by EY3, also shows that three out of four Gulf Cooperation Council banking customers would be ready to switch banks for a better digital experience.
Remtulla added: “When you hear people talking about the next Silicon Valley the focus is often on Europe and South Asia. But when you look at what’s happening in Dubai, as the heart of the Middle East and the gateway to Africa and the Indian sub-continent, and couple this with pioneering leadership of His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid al Maktoum, there is no doubt that Dubai will be at the forefront on many technological advancements for years to come. The team are inspired by Dubai and its vision and that is a driving factor behind our decision to set up here.”
The management team behind CLEARLY
Co-founder / Chief Executive Officer – Mike Cunningham
Mike Cunningham has over 20 years of financial services experience. He was the former Executive Vice President and head of Group Strategy and Innovation at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and before that he worked for Barclays in Europe, Asia, Africa and the Middle East and led the de-novo market entry and establishment of Barclays in India, Pakistan and Namibia. A family man, Cunningham has worked all over the world and now lives in Dubai with his wife and two children.
Co-founder / Chief Financial Officer – Fara Remtulla
Fara Remtulla, formerly Head of Strategy for Wholesale banking at Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank and prior to that, Director of Business Planning and Development at Deutsche Bank in the US. Fara brings a wealth of expertise in corporate and customer strategy, product development and business transformation. She has also worked for Citibank and McKinsey and Company and has a deep understanding of the region with a strong track record of execution in the digital banking space for SMEs. Remtulla is a mother to four children and lives in Dubai with her Husband.
Chief Technology Officer – James Greenwood
Mr. Greenwood is an accomplished digital banking CTO joining CLEARLY from Tandem Bank, one of the UK’s preeminent emerging digital banks. At Tandem, James defined and built the entire IT organization which enabled him to then fully architect and deliver the IT platform for the successful launch of Tandem. For this role, James was named ‘Rising Star Banker of the Year 2015’ by Retail Banker International. Before Tandem, James led the establishment of the European Digital and Mobile consulting practice with Alix Partners where he served a number of international banks and advised upon their digital strategies.
Customers can now register on the website to be the first to receive invitations to closed-door sessions and early access to CLEARLY’s services.