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- Finance

Salem Rashed Al Nuaimi

Chairman, Wio Bank

Bio

Salem Rashed Al Nuaimi is chairman of the board for Wio, the region’s first platform bank. He is also the managing director of Abu Dhabi Pension Fund’s board of directors and the chairman of Sheikh Shakhbout Medical City. Alnuaimi is also board member of ADQ, Khalifa Fund, and Khalifa University as well as a member of the audit committee of ADNOC. He has extensive leadership experience in the international investment, asset management, and financing fields where he occupied various executive positions at high-profile institutions, including SEHA, Waha Capital, and Dubai Islamic Bank, among others. Moreover, he has held board positions at NYSE-listed AerCap Holdings NV and NASDAQ-listed National Energy Services Reunited Corporation (NESR). Alnuaimi holds a degree in finance and international business from Northeastern University in Boston.

"If we take a step back, the most important consideration for any organization is why it exists, and for us, it is clear."
Wio Bank was established as a digital banking platform to simplify banking processes and foster corporate growth in alignment with the government’s vision of promoting economic diversification and support for SMEs.
Wio Bank is a digital banking platform regulated by the Central Bank. What was the main idea behind its creation in 2022?

If we take a step back, the most important consideration for any organization is why it exists, and for us, it is clear. We exist because the world is changing quickly, dramatically, and becoming increasingly digital. The support functions, namely the banking industry that helps people in their daily lives, are a little behind the curve. Wio’s mission is to be an enabler for our clients to go about their core business and leave their administrative matters in safe hands.

How does Wio Bank’s business model differ from others available in the market?

We are a bank at heart; however, we are a bank that is very much focused on our customers. I think the best way to understand Wio is to see how it works. It is a simple and easy-to-use design that gets things done. We did not want people to waste time on smaller administrative functions. Wio’s process is different; for example, opening an account is simple and straightforward. It is about delivering what the customer needs without overcomplicating things. Being a digital-first platform sets us apart from large platforms trying to digitize. And yet we have risk management, compliance, and controls as robust as those of any conventional bank; however, we also have a nimbleness in how we approach things.

How does Wio Business foster corporate growth?

First and foremost, our primary objective is to make our customers’ lives easier. Wio Business has been designed to create a new and simplified way of banking in the region for SMEs, a platform where banking services can be seamlessly integrated into all facets of the business, further supporting our customers so that they can concentrate on scaling and growing their business. SMEs are able to be onboarded efficiently, and without paperwork. This means our customers can reap the benefits Wio Business has to offer from the get-go, such as efficient, effective invoicing, following up on accounts receivable and maintaining saving spaces. Our platform can also plug into other systems that will help support SMEs. A key differentiator of Wio is that we do not do everything ourselves; rather, we provide our customers access to best-in-class service providers capable of helping them grow their businesses. We are focused on creating a partnership with our customers and then helping them grow with us because we seek a win-win relationship.

Wio Bank has signed diverse bilateral partnerships to enable and support SMEs. To what extent do these agreements positively influence the economic diversification of the UAE?

Our job is to bring our customers useful service packages, by partnering with best-in-class providers, to help them grow. Abu Dhabi and the UAE’s efforts to put SMEs at the heart of new economic growth presents a wealth of opportunities and encourages us to continue our commitment to serving and supporting this community. In terms of the application process, we are tied to many of the entities and regulators here and the aim is that once you have applied for an account, you don’t have to submit many documents, and everything can be done digitally, online. The Department of Economic Development can also get information from them and so these relationships are meant to enable our customers to get up and running quickly and focus on their businesses.

To what extent is Wio Bank aligned with the government’s vision?

The national vision is being translated into the birth and growth of an ecosystem. We are here to support that ecosystem and help it grow. We are very close to our customers, to the startup community, and to SMEs, and are committed to evolving and developing their requirements. If you talk to entrepreneurs, you realize what a hassle banking can be for them, and we are here to simplify it for them.

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