UAE fintech startup Ziina, which raised a $850,000 funding, has launched a mobile-to-mobile payment service for instant money transfer to friends and family in the country.
Users can complete the transaction just by submitting a phone number and without details such as IBAN, SWIFT code.
“Currently, the app is available only to UAE residents with a UAE bank account. At a later stage, Ziina will launch in Saudi Arabia,” a spokesperson said.
Customers will need to install the Ziina app on their mobile phones to start sending money. They will be required to connect their bank account to the digital tool in order to access their personal funds or receive money transfers.
The maximum amount that users can send is 11,000 UAE dirhams. Transferring amounts as low as one dirham would be possible for most banks, although there are at least two banks in the country that have set a minimum limit of 100 UAE dirhams per transaction.
Ziina was founded by Faisal Toukan, CEO; Sarah Toukan, chief product officer, and Andrew Gold, VP for engineering.
Ziina’s advisory board includes Samih Toukan, the co-founder of Maktoob, Souq and Jabbar Internet Group, and Emre Tok, the ex-Careem VP of growth.
Faisal said they want to redefine the way people in the Middle East think of, interact with and experience financial services.
The UAE has a huge potential for companies like Ziina to expand, considering that it has one of the highest percentages of smartphone penetration in the world, at 91 percent of the population.
During Ramadan, the use of social media increases even more, with 95.2 percent of people who celebrate the holy month in the UAE using their mobile phones, according to Facebook’s research data.
The new firm also said it is also looking to introduce other services, such as QR code integration, prepaid cards and utility payments, among others.
“We want to democratize access to financial services by placing one platform in the hands of every individual. For example, we want to make it possible for anyone who wishes to invest to do so easily by integrating third-party robe-advisors to Ziina’s platform. We will prioritize use-cases based on customers’ largest pain points and add them product by product,” said Sarah.