As one of the most diverse areas on the planet, the Middle East is spanning three different continents, more than 20 countries, and it counts a total population of approximately 600 million. Home to six Arab countries part of the Gulf Coordination Council and culturally and economically different states, the Middle East is currently at various stages of evolution when it comes to many fresh technologies that have taken over the world in recent years. Among them, the FinTech technology.
FinTech regulations are yet to be uniformly accepted and put into practice in the Middle East, with state authorities still trying to figure out what is the best approach for keeping customers protected while enabling innovation to take its course and eventually thrive. Their common goal, however, is that of offering lower fees and easier access to a series of top financial facilities that would not be available under different circumstances.
For a better grasp, the latest FinTech developments in the Arab world, make sure to keep up with the latest Financial News in the Middle East on Arabfinancials.org.To have a better grasp of the concept of FinTech and the way it is expected to completely change the face of the Middle Eastern world in a few years, read on.
What is FinTech?
FinTech is short for “financial technology” and the term refers to a blend of brand new technological advancements that are used to create financial products and services such as investment applications, cryptocurrency, mobile banking, and others. FinTech is a fast-paced industry that was worth $13.4 billion during the first quarter of 2021, according to data from CB Insights. The industry is continuously evolving at incredible speeds and it has captured the interest of businesses and consumers in several manners. Its growth potential for the upcoming years is undeniable and a direct reflection of people’s huge interest in it.
What Is An Middle Eastern FinTech Company?
FinTech companies in the Middle East are companies that manage to successfully blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, and data science with the help of clever minds sitting in their state-of-the-art offices featuring modern-day business office designs. These people usually work in the traditional financial sector and their main goal is to turn this sector into a much more efficient and fast-paced one.
FinTech companies in the Middle East region are currently innovating in numerous finance sub-sectors, ranging from the way loans are given to completing payments, or trading stocks.
How FinTech Is Currently Changing The Face Of Arab Countries in the ME
As expected, FinTech has a very different status depending on the Arab country we are looking at, with the United Arab Emirates leading the top with its 24% share of the FinTech innovations in the area. UAE is followed by Morocco and Egypt with a 12% share. Tunisia is close behind with 10% of all FinTechs in the ME.
Without a doubt, international observers have also noticed significant legislative changes, in an attempt to allow the adoption of FinTechs a lot quicker. For instance, the Egyptian central bank, as well as the central banks of the UAE, Bahrain, and Jordan have all taken similar regulatory initiatives regarding digital payments. Plus, the Abu Dhabi Global Market, Lebanon, and the Dubai International Financial Centre Bahrain have also developed new regulations regarding crowdfunding activities. The securities regulator in the UAE has also enabled Initial Coin Offerings to receive an official license to function.
FinTechs In The United Arab Emirates
The UAE is the 25th most competitive state in relation to the development of FinTech at an international level. The important improvements brought to the adoption of ICT adoption have driven this incredible growth here. The stable economic environment in the country and the health infrastructure and market for new FinTech products and services are additional factors that have reshaped the face of this new technology in the UAE.
While the country’s economy is not projected to reach its previous levels prior to the start of the pandemic in the near future, this is mostly a result of the rather strict fiscal policies and an uninspiring economic recovery at a global level. Nonetheless, the country is regarded as a wager, given its amazing focus on mixing new regulations, innovation, and stronger ecosystems to build successful FinTechs.
FinTechs In Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia is determined to bring new changes to its economy, and the adoption of ICT, the fast broadband technology deployment, and steady growth in the number of internet users are all encouraging for upcoming FinTechs here.
FinTechs In Bahrain
The long-term economic plan adopted by the government here is called Economic Vision 2030 and its main goal is that of Bahrein making the switch to a type of economy managed by the private sector. The country has embraced a country-wide strategy for adopting FinTech developments and promotions, while its Governor I currently working at the right mindset that would promote the country as a FinTech hub in the Middle East.
The rest of 2021 and 2022 are expected to bring us even more incredible FinTech startups in the region, with special emphasis on the retail sector. FinTechs are definitely changing the landscape here with more and more vendors delivering excellent solutions.