Creating a marketplace to help UAE SMEs scale

RAKBANK SMEsouk is an online banking marketplace that assists all small and medium-sized enterprises and empowers them to grow in the UAE. It helps SMEs at all stages of establishment.


RAKBANK SMEsouk is a bank in the UAE that helps SMEs with all needs around growing their business. It provides business toolkits to help SMEs with help around trade licenses, account opening, accountancy, POS and mobile POS, marketplace, facility management, fleet, office equipment and furniture, SME community access, loans, insurances and quick apply for business accounts and loans. Some of the requirements mentioned by the stakeholders:


  • Create a marketplace that simplifies the information hunt for SMEs, bringing all important information about setting up, scaling and closing the business under one roof.
  • Create a platform that’s simple to onboard, find information, compare, share and manage an SME profile.
  • Create a platform for SMEs to track their progress, adapt with changing requirements and auto-suggest necessary services or service providers.
  • Design a seamless and dependable digital banking experience for SMEs keeping all stages of their SME journey in mind.

The team facilitated remote workshops with stakeholders to gather end-user historic insights around current understanding, usage & expectations. Our teams focussed both on pre-login and post-login experiences to understand the potential of credibility provided to users at different stages. The core focus was on these areas:

  • Understand stakeholder expectations, product release plans, and overall vision for the platform.
  • Understand SMEs in the region – their expectations, pain points, desires, the process of functioning, variance in operations across MENA, and the assistance they need across all stages of establishment.
  • Study the current SME platforms locally and globally to understand the scale of addressing user problems.
Overall, we discussed & documented a mammoth set of user journeys that needed to be addressed & provided an excellent online business banking user experience.


Our primary focus was to redefine a marketplace portal by re-imagining the interactions by users (SMEs) across all stages of operations. To design a business digital banking as well as a Personal Digital Banking platform that would not just be beneficial for SMEs, but would also be helpful for service providers and partners as a unique bridge to connect these user groups.

To narrow down our research insights, we relied heavily on well-structured documentation, consistently reviewed & maintained by all the stakeholders. With just a brief of expectations shared, we had to put in great effort to ensure there is an expectation match around the engagement with a thorough review of the experience desired to be explored in the define phase.

We worked on defining a problem statement to solve through design and compiled our reports on different user personas, journey maps, empathy maps, competitor analysis, information architecture, and task flows.

Based on the user stories & prerequisites, Lollypop design studio introduced exceptional & distinctive features in the banking portal.

  • Paper prototypes
  • Low high fidelity mockups
  • Usability testing
  • Benchmarking with best practices
  • Benchmarked tested designs
  • Comprehensive documentation
  • Visual design guidelines
  • Delivery support

We have an excellent design constancy in the internet banking portal that makes the users feel they are a part of the portal’s ecosystem even while browsing through the marketplace. We crafted experiences that the users felt comfortable going through with a sense of confidence and relief with consistent guidance.

RAKBANK SMEsouk headquartered in the emirate of Ras Al Khaimah, in the UAE, is now at the user’s fingertips in the comfort of their homes. Users are better aware, better informed, and better prepared for all their needs around SME-relevant services.



What we acheived from this project?

  • Created the first comprehensive SME marketplace that is readily available for over 4,00,000 SMEs in the UAE.
  • Built a multi-experience for users – Viewers are consuming content on multiple devices
    Created a seamless and enjoyable experience for SMEs that helps them onboard easily and utilize all assistance provided proactively.
  • Created an experience that makes SMEs learned about their eligibility, prerequisites, security, safety and assistance around all stages of establishment.
  • Created an ecosystem for SMEs to thrive and contribute to the regional and global economy – a beautiful reason to design meaningful experiences for.

What we learnt from this project?

  • Research plays an important role in the output of the design.
  • Simple designs are much more preferred.
  • Every user, at a different stage, has an entirely different and at times – bespoke set of requirements that a platform of this nature must be capable of addressing.
  • How do we make such a platform adaptable to changing user needs is one of our biggest learnings.
  • Continuously keep on revisiting the user experience and keep improving the ecosystem.