Verity launches UAE’s first family banking app and cards for kids and teens
Verity, the fintech startup on a mission to teach kids and teens how to earn, save, give and spend responsibly, has officially launched the first family banking and financial literacy app, with prepaid cards for children, now live in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA). The Verity app and prepaid Visa card enable children from the age of eight to start building their personal finance skills within a real-life environment.
The platform allows parents to control the overall family account while giving each child the option to create and manage their profile. Parents can top up their digital wallets directly from their bank accounts and then allocate a set amount to each user in the family through pre-scheduled monthly or weekly allowance or one-off transfers. Children also have the option to ‘earn’ money by completing chores and tasks set by their parents. Once they have received their funds, kids are prompted to decide how much they would like to contribute to personal or family savings goals, causes or charitable initiatives, or their spending budget.
Omar Al-Sharif, Co-Founder of Verity, said, “While it’s been great to see a number of financial institutions begin their transition towards youth banking which remains an underserved segment, we’re proud to be the first fintech to launch a truly comprehensive product that is ready for our community to download and start using immediately. The Verity app has been built specifically for families in the region – and with more than 200 nationalities with highly varied lifestyles living in the UAE alone, that has meant accommodating an incredibly diverse audience. We took the time to create a platform that was tailored to the needs of our target users and the positive feedback we’ve received from test groups, who have been among the first to experience the app, shows us this was the right approach.”
Verity has partnered with Visa and MENA Banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) provider, NymCard, to facilitate the digital banking experience, issue personalized debit cards that are fully integrated into the app and allow children to make purchases online and in stores, within parameters set by their parents. Parents then have full visibility on every transaction made by their child and receive real-time reports on family and individual spending, giving them the ability to guide their children’s financial journey in a more informed way.
Alex McCrea, Visa’s Vice President, Head of Strategic Partnerships and Ventures for Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, said, “We see this partnership with Verity as especially important here in the UAE where a cashless society is fast becoming the norm. And as youth begin to enter the workforce, it is critical that they are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to make sound and responsible financial decisions. We are delighted to partner with Verity in providing secure, innovative payment solutions to youth and their families here in the UAE and look forward to supporting their expansion across the region.”
Dina Shoman, Co-Founder of Verity, commented, “We’re witnessing a real digital transformation here in the region, and financial services are taking the lead with 69% of MENA transactions expected to be cashless by 2023. Realistically, the next generation will rarely interact with banknotes or coins, which means it’s critical that parents get a head start on helping them appreciate the value of money.”
Omar Onsi, CEO and Founder of NymCard, said, “Verity is building a valuable use case that solves real pain points for families in the MENA region. We are proud to be playing a role in this milestone and we look forward to seeing Verity scale their product seamlessly on our Banking-as-a-Service infrastructure.”
The launch comes following Verity’s latest bridge round, backed by strategic global investors, which brings the total amount raised including its pre-seed round to over USD 1.2 million. The additional capital will be used to develop new app features and facilitate customer acquisition activities, while also fueling the company’s expansion into new markets across the MENA region.
Kamal Al-Samarrai, Co-Founder of Verity, added, “Over the last 18 months, the Verity team has worked tirelessly to drive the development of a comprehensive and intuitive family banking and financial literacy app – something that, until now, has not been available in the UAE. Despite the challenges we may have faced, we are so proud to made it over the finish line in this first stage of our roadmap, and to have proven that we could, indeed, do it. This wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our investors, who backed us through it all, and we are grateful to have them by our side as we enter a new phase in our growth journey.”
As of today, the Verity app can be downloaded from the Google Play and Apple App Stores. The company has also launched a referral programme that allows existing subscribers to invite friends and family to join the Verity platform. For every new referred subscriber to download the app and activate their account, AED 20 will be automatically credited to both parties.