|11 April, 2019

Dubai DIFC launches roadmap for fintechs entering MEA

DIFC has collaborated with LendIt, the organiser of the world’s largest FinTech event series, to ensure the Middle East and Africa is top of mind of financial services leaders.

Image used for illustrative purpose. People walk outside the Gate Building at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) November 28, 2011.

Image used for illustrative purpose. People walk outside the Gate Building at the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) November 28, 2011.

REUTERS/Nikhil Monteiro

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has launched a whitepaper outlining the key considerations and guidance for FinTech firms entering the MEA region at LendIt FinTech USA, a global fintech forum.

DIFC has collaborated with LendIt, the organiser of the world’s largest FinTech event series, to ensure the Middle East and Africa is top of mind of financial services leaders. As part of this collaboration, senior representatives from DIFC attended and participated in the LendIt Fintech USA 2019 conference, which took place in San Francisco on 8 and 9 April. The two-day event attracted more than 5,000 financial innovation experts from around the world.

DIFC has also worked with LendIt to produce a whitepaper titled ‘A Roadmap for FinTech Firms Entering the Fast-Growing Emerging Markets’ about FinTech opportunities in the MEA region. The report, launched at the conference, provides recommendations and guidance for FinTech firms looking to capitalise on the growth potential of the region. It draws on the experience of a select number of FinTech firms, as well as a venture capital fund and leading banks that have established businesses or plans for the market.

“Despite its notable growth on the global level, the FinTech industry has only realised a fraction of its true potential. The real opportunity lies in emerging markets, which are still largely untapped due to the lack of access to financial services”, said Arif Amiri, chief executive officer of DIFC Authority.

“With close to 70 per cent of its population having either limited or no access to financial services, the region sits on a large pool of opportunities that are constantly fuelled by the increasing need for financial solutions. As the region’s most comprehensive FinTech ecosystem, we have created an enabling business environment to help FinTech firms and investors tap into these opportunities, keeping in mind the need for access to funding, regulation and infrastructure.”

According to the whitepaper, the number of FinTech companies in MEA is expected to reach 1,845 by 2022, almost quadrupling since 2015, when the figure stood at 559. The two main drivers of this growth are the huge market potential, fuelled by its large unbanked population and high smartphone-adoption rates, and the strong ecosystem support, represented by the development of digital infrastructure and government initiatives for financial inclusion.

The most active FinTech segments in MEA are payments/remittances, digital banking, online lending, crowdfunding, InsurTech, blockchain/crypto, RegTech, artificial intelligence and analytics.

The white paper also features a series of recommendations for FinTech firms entering the region, including:

• Balance market research and on-the-ground testing before pursuing opportunities to confirm interest

• Look to local and regional banks as they may be more open to opportunities than global banks with offices in the region

• Tailor the solution to the market to enhance value proposition

• Collaborate with partners to benefit from established relationships within the market

• Prepare for fast and slow periods as you adapt to the new market

• Take advantage of an accelerator to harness the concentrated exposure they offer to prospective customers, partners, and regulators. – TradeArabia News Service

Copyright 2019 Al Hilal Publishing and Marketing Group Provided by SyndiGate Media Inc. (Syndigate.info).

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