Fintech Startup Verity educates children in the United Arab Emirates with a financial literacy app

Truth, a family banking and financial education application with prepaid cards for children, was officially launched in the United Arab Emirates after 18 months of development.

Last November, the application opened a waiting list following an $800,000 pre-seed funding round and outlined plans for a UAE launch in the fourth quarter of 2021. Finally, following its latest bridge round, which carries the total amount raised at $1.2 million, Verity became operational.

According to the company, it wanted to make sure the platform was fully tested before onboarding users, so it could provide the best possible experience.

“There were a number of external factors that determined when we could go public. The concept of youth banking, and in particular the kind of comprehensive platform that we have built at Verity, is still relatively nascent in the Middle East. We’ve combined an app that connects and engages the whole family with virtual and physical cards that empower kids and teens to take ownership of their spending — this has never been done by an independent fintech startup before,” one explained. spokesperson.

The app

The Verity app and prepaid Visa card allow children as young as eight years old to start developing their personal finance skills. Parents control the entire family account while giving each child the ability to create and manage their profile. They can top up a digital wallet directly from their bank accounts and then allocate a fixed amount to each user in the family via a pre-programmed monthly or weekly allowance or via one-time transfers.

Children also have the opportunity to “earn” money by completing tasks and tasks set by their parents. Once they have received their funds, children are asked to decide how much they would like to contribute to personal or family savings goals, charitable causes or initiatives, or to their spending budget.

Omar Al Sharifco-founder of Verity, said he was proud to be the “first fintech to launch a truly comprehensive product that is ready for our community to download and use immediately.”

“The Verity app has been specifically designed for families in the region – and with over 200 nationalities with widely varying lifestyles living in the UAE alone, that means welcoming an incredibly diverse audience,” he says. “We took the time to create a platform tailored to the needs of our target users and the positive feedback we received from the test groups, who were among the first to discover the application, shows us that it was the right one. approach. “

Verity co-founders Kamal Al-Samarrai, Dina Shoman and Omar Al Sharif

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 in-app and allow children to make online and in-store purchases. Parents have complete visibility into every transaction their child makes and receive real-time reports on family and individual spending.

According to Visa, the partnership is particularly important in the United Arab Emirates, where a cashless society is “becoming the norm”. Sixty-nine percent of transactions in the MENA region are expected to be cashless by 2023.

Alex McCrea, Visa’s Vice President, Head of Strategic and Corporate Partnerships for Central Europe, Middle East and Africa, said: “As young people begin to enter the labor market, it is essential that ‘they are equipped with the knowledge and tools they need to make smart and responsible financial decisions.. We are delighted to partner with Verity to provide secure and innovative payment solutions to young people and their families here in the United Arab Emirates united and we look forward to supporting their expansion in the region.

Growth projects

Verity outlined plans to use its additional capital to develop new application functionality and facilitate customer acquisition activities, while fueling the company’s expansion into new markets in the MENA region.

“Over the past 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,” says Kamal Al-Samarrai, co-founder of Verity. “Despite the challenges we may have faced, we are very proud to have crossed the finish line in this first stage of our roadmap and to have proven that we could do it. It wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our investors, who have supported us through it all, and we are grateful to have them by our side as we enter a new phase in our growth journey.

The company has also launched a referral program that allows existing subscribers to invite their friends and family to join the Verity platform. For each new referred subscriber who downloads the app and activates their account, AED20 will automatically be credited to both parties.

Sarah J. Greer