Fintech firm YAP has launched a digital banking platform in the UAE as it seeks to build neobanking presence across the Middle-East.

According to a Reuters report, this is the first independent digital banking platform in the country.

As it does not have a banking licence, YAP partnered with local lender RAK Bank to provide its users with international bank account numbers.

Particularly, Dubai-based YAP will offer spend analytics, bill payments and remittance services.

YAP head of product Katral-Nada Hassan told the news agency that it is working to partner with other banks to expand in other countries including Saudi Arabia, Pakistan and Ghana.

The move comes when some UAE-based lenders have forayed into the digital banking space in the recent years with new offerings to target tech-savvy users. This includes the launch of LIV by Emirates NBD and Mashreq Neo by Mashreq Bank.

Abu Dhabi’s ADQ also plans to establish a neobank using First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)’s banking licence.

YAP CEO and founder Marwan Hachem told Reuters: “The fintech revolution has become very popular in other parts of the world and we saw a gap and unique need for this service in the Middle East.”

Last month, the UAE’s central bank fined 11 banks for failing to achieve compliance towards anti money laundering (AML) laws.

The combined fine amounts to AED45.7m ($12.4m).