UAE top Islamic Fintech Hub, Bahrain a challenger

In the Gulf, the UAE has emerged as a top Islamic fintech hub, ranking no. 3 in terms of global fintech, while in Asia, South Korea might fuel the next fintech boom

  

Dubai: Analysis conducted by Bloomberg Intelligence found that global fintech trends help shape developing economies adoption of fintech, with the emergence of specialized fintechs that advocate financial inclusion. In the Gulf, the UAE has emerged as a top Islamic fintech hub, ranking no. 3 in terms of global fintech, while in Asia, South Korea might fuel the next fintech boom.

The report highlights four key areas:

  • UAE Is a Top Islamic Fintech Hub, Bahrain a Challenger:The UAE leads the Gulf in Islamic fintech -- which brings better standardization and transparency to the Islamic finance industry, fostering growth -- yet Bahrain is a challenger as the country is taking initiatives to boost its presence with Rain, the first licensed Shariah-compliant digital currency platform .
  • The UAE ranks No. 3 in terms of global fintech. Globally, there is a total of 93 shariah-compliant fintechs start-ups in 2018, of which 70% were focused on peer-to-peer solutions to facilitate consumer and business financing. While blockchain-based offerings made up 14% of the identified group, this largely reflected cryptocurrencies vs. smart contracts.
  • New Fintech Solutions Seek to Empower Women:To help expand digital-financial access to women and bridge the gender gap, new fintech solutions are emerging with tailored experiences. Some of these are focused on financial planning, savings, investment and fund raising for micro, mid and small companies run by female entrepreneurs.

Globally, mobile ownership is 10% higher among men, with mobile-internet usage 23% greater, according to the Mobile Gender Gap Report 2019 commissioned by GSMA Intelligence. This compares with 9% higher mobile ownership among men in the Middle East and North Africa region (MENA), along with mobile-internet usage that's 20% higher vs. women. Yet the widest gap worldwide is in South Asia, where females are 28% less likely to own a mobile and 58% less likely to have mobile internet.

  • Tech rich South Korea May Fuel Asia's Next Fintech-Growth Boom: South Korea looks like Asia's sweet spot, with regulatory easing, fintech-ready population and more funding support. With more accommodative rules and monetary resources, South Korea may close its fintech adoption gap with other key Asian countries. About 67% of the country's digitally active population has adopted some form of fintech vs. 87% in China and India.

Bloomberg Terminal clients will find the full analysis on {BI BANKM}. Findings from the analysis were presented at an event in Manama, organized by  Women in Fintech Bahrain.

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