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In a recent study conducted by “ATKEARNEY Middle East”, outlooks suggested that the Online Banking in the United Arab Emirates will triple by the end of the next 5 years, and that the actual users of these service will increase by around 25% of the banks customers, compared to 18% currently. The study also suggests that the turnout for using these services among new customers will increase from around 5% currently to more than 25% by the end of the same period.

The study notes that the UAE banks in particular and the GCC in general, owns, more than ever, opportunities to offer their services online, and cited many seasons for that, on top of which economic growth and diversity, as well as the population growth, both factors help widen the banking services market in general, and in parallel with this, the increase of the online banking is from one aspect due to the relative weight of the youth in the society, and on the other hand, the expansion of the middle class.

This is a logical relationship considering that the youth in any society, are often the highest population category that are able to deal with new technology, therefore, the increase in their relative weight in the UAE society and the GCC Society in general, means a matching increase in the number of those able to use the internet as a mean to obtain banking services.

In this context, one cannot consider the study by “ATKEARNEY Middle East” away from the development in the UAE society in general, where the number of internet users is equal to 4 fifths of the population, and in which the PC, internet and modern communication means are used in performing daily work in the governmental and private institutions, and in achieving daily personal issues, as well as the high percentage of Infrastructure Readiness in the country, which was praised by a number of international institutions, especially the “International Economic Forum” in the reports issued with relation to international competitiveness, in addition to the growing role of the banking sector and the financial services in general as a pivotal sector in the UAE economy, under the policy of the country in line with its objectives of becoming an international financial and business center. In addition to that, there is an increase in the large international institutions and companies operating in the country, with its vast connections and what come with that of increase demand on such electronic services.

Although there are still some potential challenges facing the online banking in the country over the coming years, as mentioned in the study of “ATKEARNEY Middle East”, the efforts in place by the country through its various institutions to overcome these challenges, and the policy of openness to the world and the effective merging with the international economy adopted by the country, represents a comprehensive umbrella and fertile environment for the UAE banking sector, helping it to expand locally, regionally and internationally, pushing it to expand in providing its services via electronic means in order to facilitate access to such services from the UAE and abroad.

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