Fintech Appro, which Digitizes Retail Banking Services, Launched in Dubai by SC Ventures

SC Ventures recently revealed that it has introduced Appro, which is a Fintech that digitizes and enhances the retail banking customer experience.

Supported by SC Ventures, Standard Chartered’s Fintech investment and ventures unit, the “bank-agnostic” platform intends to signifiantly reduce the time taken to finalize the application processes for retail banking products – like credit cards and personal loans – from hours to a few minutes.

Appro offers a solution that streamlines the application and onboarding process for customers, requiring them to fill out only a single application per product.

After obtaining the necessary background details and preferences from clients through their application, these data points get shared securely with participating banking institutions, enabling them to qualify clients and in turn, suggest their most suitable products for each user.

The platform collates the most relevant product offerings for each client and then ranks them using a special algorithm based on the user’s preferences, allowing for an easier and more informed / intelligent decision-making process.

As explained in the announcement, the participating banking institutions get the pre-processed applications for qualified clients, which include the outcomes of necessary bank on-boarding activities, like KYC, customer due diligence, credit worthiness assessments as well as fraud checks.

The concept for Appro was developed by three professionals – Iftekhar Salim, Tarek Osman and Antofelix Rajan – who were working as retail bankers at Standard Chartered and realized the pain points clients tend to experience during the tedious onboarding process for retail banking products in the United Arab Emirates.

The Fintech had been incubated at SC Ventures, with early-stage investment on three different occasions.

Iftekhar Salim, CEO at Appro, stated:

“Our goal is to bridge the gap between customers looking to find the best deals in town and banks’ concerted efforts to be positioned as a superior service provider. When we developed our first solution to this end as part of an internal retail banking challenge facilitated by SC Ventures in 2019, we managed to reduce turnaround time for mortgage pre-approval letter issuance from six days to a mere 45 minutes. We saw our mortgage booking volume jump significantly and this really validated the market appetite we had only surmised up to this point. It drove us to see what else we could build to better serve both customers’ and banks’ needs in the retail banking space.”

Alex Manson, Head of SC Ventures, remarked:

“At SC Ventures, we are focused on finding solutions to problems we identify in the market and will serve customers in the ways they want and need to be served. Appro’s platform is a fantastic example of such solution that has emerged from a customer-focused approach to remove a great deal of friction from the onboarding experience.”

Appro’s platform goes live in the UAE with applications for credit cards and personal loans, and intends to further expand its product offerings to include mortgage loans and automobile loans, along with current and saving accounts and wealth management services.

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