Top 40 Fintech influencers to follow in the Middle East

Over the last couple of years, several changes in technology have an impact on financial and banking services as well. Now everyone is aware of the term FinTech which means usage of technology in the financial sector. Definitely, fintech influencers had their piece of share in making fintech an enormous thing by sharing their ideas and influencing the world of techno-finance. Along with several other nations, the Middle East also have seen many influencers who helped in Fintech growth.

Here’s a list of top Fintech influencers in the Middle East region (not in a specific order)

1. Raja Al Mazrouei

Raja Al Mazrouei is the Executive Vice President of FinTech Hive at the Dubai International Financial Centre(DIFC). She works with an aim to make DIFC as the region’s best innovative destination for Fintech.

2. Arif Amiri

Arif Amiri is the Cheif Executing Officer at Dubai International Financial Center(DIFC). He manages the strategic and operational functions of the center. Currently, DIFC is working towards the fintech development which is a part Arif’s vision for DIFC.

3. Leigh Flounders

Leigh Flounders is the Senior Vice President Head of Digital Strategy and Engagement at Emirates NBD. He bagged several awards till date, amongst which The 2017 South By Southwest(SXSW) Conference FinTech & Payments pitch winner deserves a special mention.

4. Craig Moore

Craig Moore is the founder of Beehive which is the first peer-to-peer lending platform in the Middle East and North Africa(MENA) region. Beehive was launched in November 2014, it connects businesses seeking finance and investors. Till date, it has provided finance to more than 32 SMEs.

5. Kanchan Kumar

Kanchan Kumar is one of the founders of Remitr. Remitr is an end-to-end money transfer platform which was started with an aim to make global payments simple. In the year 2016, it was recognized as one of the most promising startups in the UAE region. 

6. Suvo Sarkar

Suvo Sarkar is the Senior Executive Vice President and Group Head in Retail banking & Wealth management at Emirates NBD. He contributes to the growth of revenue, profits and customer base for the bank by setting new standards for product innovation. He also publishes a column on the changing paradigms in the banking sector. He is considered as a Finovate speaker in the Middle East.

7. Abdulaziz Al Jouf

Abdulaziz Al Jouf is the founder of PayTabs. PayTabs is a payment gateway that provides businesses to transfer funds to each other without any complications. Realizing the difficulties faced by the SME merchants in the MENA region to get a payment gateway, Abdulaziz developed PayTabs. It provides payment solutions to all kinds of business be it small and medium enterprises, large scale organizations, etc.

8. Mirna Sleiman

Mirna Sleiman is the CEO and founder of Fintech Galaxy which is a digital crowdsourcing platform. It connects fintech entrepreneurs and investors. Mirna is the former award-winning financial journalist. She even guided several banks and governments on their digital transformation projects.

9. Sridhar Iyer

Sridhar Iyer is the Head of Mashreq Neo and Banking. Mashreq Neo is the digital banking application that is working with an aim to make banking easy and swift for the customers. This definitely makes a good addition to the growth of fintech in the UAE region.

10. Moussa Beidas

Moussa Beidas is the founder of Bridg, a smartphone app. It is an app which uses Bluetooth to make online payments. It is the first app that works on flight mode as well. Bridg is definitely one of the best fintech innovations. It makes the payment process simple. 

11. Sagar Sanap

Sagar Sanap is the AVP- Digital Sales Lead in Citi Bank. Being expertise in the field of Product strategy, Digital marketing, and campaign management, he is making a good share in the field of fintech.

12. Sam Quawasmi

Sam Quawasmi is one of the founders of the first equity crowdfunding platform Eureeca. It provides equity-based crowdfunding opportunity for the businesses. In the year 2013, Sam Quawasmi and Chris Thomas(Founder of Eureeca) were awarded “Innovator of the Year” award by Gulf Business Industry Awards in the UAE. 

13. Peter Smith

Peter Smith is the managing director, policy and strategy at Dubai Financial Services Authority(DFSA). DFSA regulates the financial services conducted from Dubai International Financial Center(DIFC) which works with a vision to drive the future of finance.

14. Philip King

Philip King is the Global Head of Retail Banking at ADIB. Prior to ADIB, he worked in several other well-known banks. ADIB launched MoneySmart which is the first digital community in the Middle East region. It also added “ADIB Express” to their app in order to provide instant digital services to their customers.

15. Richard Teng

Richard Teng is the CEO of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), Abu Dhabi Global Market(ADGM). The first Fintech Regulatory Laboratory Framework in the MENA region was developed in ADGM under the supervision of Richard. He works in the development of Fintech ecosystem in Abu Dhabi region. 

16. Wai Lum Kwok

Wai Lum Kwok is the Executive Director of Capital Markets, Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), Abu Dhabi Global Market(ADGM). He is known for his efforts and supervision in the development of Fintech in ADGM.

17. Promoth Manghat

Promoth Manghat is the CEO of UAE Exchange. He leads the global operations team of UAE Exchange center. He supervises in expanding UAE Exchange all over the world besides the day-to-day operations of his team.

18. Jayesh Patel

Jayesh Patel is the head of Liv. account of Emirates NBD. Liv. account is the first digital banking account in the UAE region. This account was launched by taking millennials and digital lifestyle into consideration. Liv account is one of the best add-ons to Fintech growth in the UAE. 

19. Stelios Michaelides

Stelios Michaelides was the head of Digital Banking in Commercial Bank of Dubai(CBD). CBD Now is a digital banking product that was launched under the supervision of Stelios. It uses the latest technologies which promote in the safe and simplest way of banking for the customer.

20. Siddiq Farid

Siddiq Farid is the CEO and one of the founders of SmartCrowd. SmartCrowd is a real estate crowdfunding platform in the UAE. It is the only company that is regulated by the DFSA(Dubai Financial Services Authority) and the first company in UAE that supports digital real estate investments.

21. Tanvir Shah

Tanvir Shah is the Managing Director of The Partnerships Consulting. He supervises on banking, payments, fintech strategies, etc. in the MENA region. His works have been recognized by several popular publications like The Banker Middle East, Cards International, etc.

22. Lynnette Abad

Lynnette is the Director of Research and Data at PropertyFinder group. Having technology and real estate as her professional passions, she’s been working on PropTech for maximum time in her career. 

23. Mark Chahwan

Mark is one of the co-founders of Sarwa. Sarwa is an online financial advisor that helps customers in finding investment opportunities with good returns and low-risks. It was recognized as one of the top 20 fintech companies by Forbes and the first startup to have an innovation license by the Dubai International Financial Center.

24. Mike Cunningham

Mike has been spending most of his career in the FinTech sector. He works as an independent mentor at DIFC(Dubai International Financial Center) Fintech Hive. Besides that, he is the CEO of BankClearly a startup which invented a new way of banking.

25. Omar Soudodi

Omar Soudodi is the managing director at PayFort. PayFort is a payment gateway platform which provides a secured and safe payment facility for online shoppers. It has won several awards in the MENA region along with the Best Fintech Company in the year 2016 by The Entrepreneur. 

26. Usama Zafar

Usama Zafar is the Head of Digital & Direct Marketing in ADIB. He has 13+ years of work experience in well-acclaimed domestic and international companies. He is considered as a growth hacker with accomplishments of billion dollars in annual sales of the companies he worked.

27. Nameer Khan

Nameer Khan is not only a fintech influencer but also an insurtech. He is a founding board member of MENA Fintech Association which helps in shaping the future of financial services in the UAE.

28. Ola Doudin

Ola Doudin is the Cofounder and CEO of BitOasis which is digital asset exchange and wallet. It allows individuals to purchase, sell and trade digital assets. Along with the digital wallet and trading services, they also offer consulting services to the organizations.

29. Omar Rana

Omar Rana is the co-founder and director of strategy and finance in Finalytix. Finalytix provides financial advice and wealth management of a company. Omar is also a global fintech speaker who was invited to talk at various conferences.

30. Omeed Mehrinfar 

Plug and Play Tech is a platform that connects Startups and the world’s largest corporations. Omeed Mehrinfar is the regional director of such an innovative platform that helps the startups, investors, etc connect with each other. Plug and Play Tech work on the main objective to catalyze technological advancement.

31. Osama Al Rahma

Osama Al Rahma is the CEO of the Al Fardan Exchange. Al Fardan Exchange is a well-known exchange center in the UAE. Apart from the Al Fardan Exchange center, he is a board member of certain well-acclaimed companies like Foreign Exchange and Remittance group, 2 the point, who is responsible for the development of strategies. 

32. Tim Buckler

Tim Buckler is the Digital Sales Manager in Emirates Islamic Bank. With 9+ years of experience in the field of digital finance, his strategies mainly focus on developing overall e-commerce experiences. He helps in building the digital channel that eventually drives towards the customer and product gain.

33. Preeti Mundhra

Preeti Mundhra the Head of Marketing and Partnerships at the Liv. Digital Bank is one of the best fintech influencers in the UAE through Liv. account which is one of the best initiatives in the fintech space. 

34. Shaheen Alkhudhari

The founder and CEO of the well-known rent and property management platform, Ajar Online is Shaheen Alkhudhari. This platform helps homeowners manage their properties by offering a quick online rent collection facility. This makes the process of receiving or sending rent very easy.

35. Khalid Saad

Khalid Saad is the CEO of Bahrain Fintech Bay. Bahrain Fintech Bay is the first fintech hub in Bahrain and largest fintech hub in the MENA region. He is also the Executive Director of Fintech Consortium which helps in growth and acceleration of Fintech ecosystems.

36. Sonny Zulu

Sonny Zulu is the Managing Director and Head of Retail Banking at Standard Chartered Bank. He is known for delivering outstanding performance at work which helped in the growth of profits, revenue, etc.

37. Eric Modave

Eric Modave is the Chief Operating Office in Arab Bank who is in charge of all the IT operations, Enterprise Digital Innovation, data management, etc. for the bank. Prior to the Arab bank, he worked at top-noted banks in other regions.

38. Denit Varghese

Denit Varghese is the Senior Digital Planner at Carat. With long career experience in the field of digital marketing, his motto of looking at the long term success rather than short term returns makes him the best at the industry.

39. Bogdan Maranu

Bogdan Maranu is the Associate Media Director at Spark Foundry. It is a start-up that melds an innovative business approach with resources and capabilities. 

40. Omar Bin Brek 

Omar Bin Brek is the founder of the UAE Fintech Startup Foloosi. Foloosi facilitates consumer to business payments with advanced technical solutions. This is definitely a good add-on to fintech realm.

Source :
https://www.mymoneysouq.com/financial-blog/top-40-fintech-influencers-to-follow-in-the-middle-east/

UAE fintech startup Foloosi raises Pre-SEED funding

Foloosi, a UAE Fintech startup facilitating consumer-to-business card payments through several ways by enabling businesses to display QR code, share Payment Links and API integrations makes it possible to accept card payments without the need of a POS machine.

Foloosi has raised an undisclosed amount of pre-seed fund from Angel fund investor Rashed Alfalasi in May 2019.

Co-founders Omar Bin Brek and Mohan K with an in-house team of 6 has managed to get the idea off the ground and continue to serve as a valuable start-up in the UAE market.

United Arab Emirates has the highest banking penetration rate in the middle east region. Though in contrary, according to UAE central bank figures (in 2017): 75% of the whole UAE economy is based on cash transactions. Furthermore, compareit4me.com survey (2018) show that 85% of online orders are processed through cash-on-delivery option as a method of payment. Residents need more advanced and modern options in line with the UAE’s 2021 vision.

Foloosi will enable a digital economy empowerment for local businesses, operating merchants and most importantly the e-commerce sector. Foloosi will feature a wide range of advanced technological products on its modern platform – including the core function of ‘Scan to Pay’ feature, which allows a business to accept card payment by displaying QR code technology.

Just-in also, Foloosi has launched its new product ‘Point of Sale’ for small and medium sized businesses. This dedicated POS system will provide merchants a wholly complete system including digital checkout eyeing for a huge potential in the GCC market.

Foloosi enables businesses to go for a complete digital transformation including paperless receipt checkout, which helps the society become greener.

Foloosi CEO, Omar Bin Brek says…

“With the support of our strategic investors, we are accelerating the development of our products further in this digital world and this is a great opportunity to improve in the advanced technology experienced by our users”

The Investor Rashed Alfalasi says…

“I invested in Foloosi because I believe the future will be cashless and that Foloosi is one of the companies that will emerge to lead this effort because of its great team and their strong vision. With dedication and the right strategy, Foloosi can build the cashless society and will provide payment solutions that serve all kind of businesses.”

Source : https://magnitt.com/news/uae-fintech-startup-foloosi-raises-pre-seed-funding

Digital Payments: a developing trend

The digital payments sector in 2018 created a market of around 38 billion dollars comprehensively: the numbers in regards to the pattern of digital payments are continually developing with a positive normal yearly rate of 18% and a turnover of very nearly 90 billion dollars assessed by 2023.

These are the information that risen up out of the most recent statistical surveying of the Report Linker organization, breaks down that unmistakably feature the always expanding pattern in respect to the advanced digital payments advertise: the relentless presentation of imaginative advances and the improvement of a continually associated correspondence arrange are the principle essentials for concocting new business openings with brilliant and unique payment strategies.

Speed, solace and innovation are the primary highlights of the new advanced payment frameworks: in a cutting edge and carefully dynamic organization 24 hours per day it is unavoidable that the deals and payment parts will experience radical changes. On the off chance that online deals, web based business and buys by means of Social media speak to the most recent outskirts in the business circle, Digital Payments, ePayments and Mobile Payments are the genuine developments in the payments area.

The “Digital Payments Study Visa” investigate did in 2017 conveys that 68% of clients in Europe utilize digital payments to purchase products or services: the real buyers of digital payments administrations are the Millenials (individuals conceived somewhere in the range of 1981 and 1996) with a level of action of practically 90%.

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What are digital payments? When can a payment method be defined as such?

The expression “digital payments” characterizes a wide range of payments made in advanced mode: online buys, electronic wallet installments and web cash exchange arrangements; P2P payments and exchanges made in physical stores utilizing NFC innovation and the contact less POS mode are additionally incorporated into the digital payment class.

Albeit altogether different from one another, a wide range of digital payments have as their essential goal the improvement of the client experience, ensuring the client solace and speed: POS and contactless end up being down to earth arrangements and perfect for activities inside stores, utilizations of online deals and digital transactions are the payment techniques most valued by internet business clients because of a natural, protected and quick service.

Payments via smart phone with e-wallets and applications

Transactions by means of smart phones are without a doubt the most inventive classification inside digital payments and can be isolated into four sorts: Mobile Remote Commerce, Mobile Remote Payment, Mobile Proximity Payment and Mobile Proximity Commerce. The Mobile Remote Commerce classification incorporates all the buying forms that happen by means of cell phone with charge on a payment card or electronic handbag, Mobile Remote Payment demonstrate rather all installments of top-ups, charges, parking garages or bulletins happened through cell phone with charge on e wallet or card. The Mobile Proximity Payment type alludes to installments made at the purposes of offer, approved by cell phones utilizing NFC or QR codes and charged on paper, electronic tote or financial balance, lastly Mobile Proximity Commerce incorporates every one of the administrations supporting the in-store client experience, for example, approval of coupons or loyalty services.

Digital payments- Advantages

Digital payments offer multiple innovative solutions compared to the classic payment with cash, we discover what are the points in favor of digital payments:

Security and protection inclusion

Most digital payments offer the client a substantial protection inclusion for the merchandise bought on the web: much of the time it is conceivable to get speedy discounts if there should arise an occurrence of item returns and discounts legitimate in case of a cheat. The protection guidelines and data security frameworks are progressively increasing more certainty from shoppers who incline toward online buys over physical buys.

Rapidity and simplicity

Online shoppers are searching for speed and effortlessness in their acquiring techniques: Digital payments can continually advance themselves, ensuring security, speed and solace to the client who utilizes them.

Internationalization of payments

With the utilization of digital payments there are no trade issues: it is conceivable to go in any nation by paying through your charge card or cell phone on account of the universal digital payment circuits.

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With UAE Foloosi digital payment solution you can locate the best online payment solution for your business or day by day needs.

Upcoming Fintech and Digital Finance Events in MENA

Fintech is booming in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) as regulators and government agencies in countries including the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain and Saudi Arabia are pushing for innovation in the financial services industry to improve financial inclusion and keep up with international counterparts.

As fintech innovation continues to grow in importance in MENA, a growing number of events and conferences are being organized in the region this year.

Here are the most anticipated fintech and digital finance events in MENA in the coming months

22nd MFC Annual Conference

May 29 – 31, 2019

TITANIC DOWNTOWN BEYOĞLU hotel, Istanbul, Turkey

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena-mfc

Running from May 29 to 31, 2019, the 22nd MFC (Microfinance Centre) Annual Conference will tackle the practical side of digitalization in the financial inclusion sector through case studies, trend analysis and discussion of emerging best practice.

This year, the theme will be “Demystifying Digital in Microfinance” and will include a full range of workshops, panel discussions and side meetings to explore different aspects of the digitalization in financial inclusion, including agile ways of working, developing staff digital competency, digital client experience, non-credit digital products, regulatory issues connected with digitalization, financial services for migrants, digital tools for improving financial health, fintechs and financial inclusion, and more.

Token Fest 2019

June 3 – 4, 2019

David InterContinental Hotel, Tel Aviv, Israel

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena-tokenfest

Token Fest promises to be an exclusive, two-day networking event focused on the business and technology of tokenization. Attendees will gain a wealth of insights and information about the state of the token-based economy while networking with over 2,500 senior level decision makers.

Topics covered during the event will include applied cryptoeconomics, token design, token trading and the future of digital assets, the structure and dynamics of security tokens, ICO blueprint for token crowdfunding, commercialization of blockchain platforms, multi-industry case studies of decentralized platforms, obstacles to mainstream adoption, and more.

Arabnet Beirut

June 12 – 13, 2019

Port of Beirut, Downtown, Beirut, Lebanon

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena-arabnet-beirut

This year, Arabnet will be celebrating its 10-year anniversary, a decade since it began its journey setting the ground for digital business and entrepreneurship in the MENA region.

To date, the brand has organized 25+ events in Beirut, Kuwait, Dubai, and Riyadh, released 20+ in-depth reports on the different sectors of the MENA ecosystem, and provided up-and-coming startups with a chance to grow and reach high levels of success through our competitions.

Arabnet Beirut 2019 promises to be bigger than ever, a celebration of innovation gathering 3,000+ corporate executives, government leaders, and entrepreneurs under one roof.

The buzzing event is set to bring together 250+ experts and speakers from around the globe, covering a range of topics and will include the Launchpad for startups and investors, Ad/Edge for digital media and advertising, and Finverse for digital banking and fintech.

Finverse will explore the latest trends and opportunities in fintech and banking innovation, diving into chatbots and robo-advisors, big data, blockchain, and the practical opportunities available for banks and financial services providers.

Digital payment

InsurByte 2019

June 12 – 13, 2019

Gulf Convention Centre, Bahrain

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena InsurByte 2019

InsurByte aims to be the insurtech knowledge-exchange platform in Asia and the Middle East. The event is expected to bring together over 150 companies participating from over 25 countries who will be interacting and showcasing the latest initiatives, innovations and applications related to the insurance industry.

Building on the success of the 2017 conference, InsurByte 2019, in strategic partnership with Bahrain Insurance Association and the Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance, will provide a platform that fosters synergies among market players to find solutions and promote innovative insurance practices in a collaborative, open and transparent manner.

The conference will host keynote speeches, panels, fireside chats, show and tells, startup pitches, investor sessions, workshops, network sessions and case studies from entrepreneurs, innovation labs, venture capitalist and insurance professionals.

Future of Finance and CFO Summit

June 17 – 18, 2019

Grosvenor House, a Luxury Collection Hotel, Dubai, UAE

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena-future-of-finance

The Future of Finance and CFO Summit is set to bring together the region’s top CFOs and senior finance professionals to discuss and address challenges and their key initiatives helping shape their businesses successfully.

The summit aims to act as a platform to gain unparalleled insight on cost control strategies through access to a global expert speaker faculty, hear from the leading senior finance experts and discuss the future of the finance industry by looking at what’s operational efficiency and change management.

Participants will also get to learn more about the real value of AI, analytics and other innovative technologies in the finance industry and how it can make operations more efficient and achieve cost control, and much more

Seamless North Africa 2019

June 17 – 18, 2019

The Nile Ritz-Carlton, Cairo, Egypt

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena Seamless North Africa

Seamless North Africa 2019, organized by the Terrapinn, is held under the patronage of the Central Bank of Egypt and in partnership with the Council of Arab Economic Unity and the League of Arab States.

The event will feature inspirational keynotes from global innovators who are changing commerce in their companies as well as technology leaders from retail, e-commerce and payments across North Africa. It is set to bring together thousands of professionals and will include an exhibition where leading solution providers will showcase a wide range of new technologies.

Blockchain for Finance Conference MENA 2019

June 25 – 26, 2019

Dubai, UAE

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena-BFCMENA 2019

The Blockchain for Finance Conference (BFC) MENA 2019 will examine the latest blockchain use cases to drive adoption and commercialization within financial services in the Middle East.

The event will explore the role of digital assets and stablecoins, looking at how they can revolutionize financial services globally to improve transparency and accessibility, as well as the latest proof-of-concepts by financial institutions in the region. It will also address how to overcome hurdles around ecosystem maturity to implement the technology, and participants will get to hear from a range of central banks and free zone regulators on their views on blockchain in the Middle East to help financial institutions adapt and collaborate.

ATMIA Middle East 2019

June 25 – 26, 2019

Shangri-La Hotel, Dubai, UAE

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena-ATMIA Middle East 2019

The ATMIA Middle East 2019 conference will focus on global trends in next-gen ATMs and innovations in digital banking.

The ATM-dedicated conference will offer delegates and exhibitors the opportunity to share experiences and insights with their peers and industry experts from across the Gulf, Middle East and surrounding regions.

Fintech Summit Middle East

June 26, 2019

Intercontinental Hotel Amman, Jordan

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena-Fintech Summit Jordan

Fintech Summit Middle East will take place on June 26, 2019 in Amman Jordan, and promises to bring together more than 300+ industry leaders, business decision makers, tech innovators , business leaders and disruptive technologists, regulators and academics who are shaping the future of banking and financial services by driving a technological revolution in the industry across the Middle East.

The summit will discuss the latest disruptions and opportunities across the fintech landscape, covering topics including blockchain, online payments and digital banking. This one-day event will focus on fintech with a range of programming, including panels, off-sites and networking opportunities.

Fintech Junction

June 26 – 27, 2019

Avenue Convention Center, 1 Hasharon St. Airport City, Israel

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena FinTech Junction

Fintech Junction is an international annual conference on fintech taking place in Israel. This year, Fintech Junction is expected to bring together 1,500+ professional attendees from Israel and from around the world including CXOs, entrepreneurs, investors, innovation and fintech leaders from leading startups, banks, financial institutions, hubs, accelerators and investment companies.

The event will cover the latest and hottest trends shaping the future of financial services, including open banking, blockchain, cryptocurrencies, ICOs, regulation, cybersecurity, AI, P2P platforms, startups and venture capital and much more.

Oman Islamic Fintech Forum 2019

June 26 – 27, 2019

Muscat, Oman

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena Oman Islamic fintech Forum 2019

Oman Islamic Fintech Forum 2019 (OiFF2019) aims to become the exclusive Islamic fintech reference in Oman. This event will bring industry experts from various fields of expertise including regulators, bankers, entrepreneurs, investors, and IT experts to share their experiences and insights in developing the fintech ecosystem for Islamic finance in Oman.

OiFF intends to set the stage in the Middle East for Islamic fintech experts to meet and share their expertise in order to assess Oman’s potential in embracing Islamic fintech to promote economic growth and develop the industry of Islamic finance.

Saudi Fintech Forum

September 2019

Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena-saudi-fintech-forum

The Saudi Fintech Workshop is set to bring together business leaders and technology innovators to collaborate on the re-invention of technologies, processes and products through digital transformation. The event will explore how to increase efficiency and agility with operational excellence, while creating customer-obsessed experiences that grow revenue and re-invigorate your business. It will include case study presentations and panel discussions.

The workshop is designed to host 100+ senior professional from banks, insurance companies, brokers, bancassurance, and fintech companies to discuss their strategies for digital transformation. It will address the key issues of financial transformation and innovation by bringing on board expert speakers from the industry to address and provide updated information and solutions to the challenges facing the industry.

Key topics to be covered include blockchain technology, mobile, the future of fintech in Saudi Arabia, the Internet-of-Things, machine learning, artificial intelligence, and more.

9th Annual Middle East Banking Innovation Summit

September 3 – 4, 2019

Jumeirah Emirates Towers Hotel, Dubai, UAE

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena-banking-innovation-summit-middle-east

The Middle East Banking Innovation Summit claims to be the largest banking technology platform in the region, bringing together banking leaders, fintech experts and over 450 senior experts and leaders to discuss the future of banking.

The Middle East Banking Innovation Summit 2019 will focus on various disruptive technologies, new banking regulations and emerging key trends impacting this sector. The must-attend summit will explore the latest developments in the banking industry, with the sole purpose of emphasizing the impact of technology and innovation in this sector.

Fintech Abu Dhabi

October 21 – 23, 2019

Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre, Abu Dhabi, UAE

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena Fintech Abu Dhabi

Fintech Abu Dhabi is a leading fintech festival in MENA that’s set to bring together this year 5,000 influencers and innovators who are pioneering the new wave of innovation across financial services.

Building on the success of the previous two editions of Fintech Abu Dhabi, ADGM has partnered with Unbound, a global innovation ecosystem builder with a successful track record of creating innovation events around the world.

This third edition will explore the next frontier of fintech and innovation and intends to be the meeting point for the global fintech community in 2019, featuring many country delegations, a new global challenge format, a Fintech World Tour, the inaugural Fintech Abu Dhabi Awards for Excellence and a showcase of the world’s most promising fintech startups and scaleups.

Enterprise Fintech Summit

October 28 – 29, 2019

Dubai, UAE

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena-enterprise-fintech-summit

The Enterprise Fintech Summit, taking place on October 28 and 29, 2019 in Dubai, will host more than 600 leading banking, financial services and insurance (BFSI) decision maker across Middle East. These will privately meet to discuss sector transformation and disruptive topics such as banking 2025, digital DNA, regtech, micro-financing, artificial intelligence, robotics, financial inclusion, blockchain, and real-time data analytics.

Finovate Middle East 2019

November 17 – 19, 2019

Dubai

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena finovate middle east

Finovate Middle East 2019 is set to bring together the region’s fintech community to showcase cutting-edge banking, financial and payments technology. The event is set to attract more than 400 senior financial and banking executives, venture capitalists, press, industry analysts, bloggers, regulators, and entrepreneurs from across the UAE.

Participants will see the latest fintech innovations demoed live on stage and hear insights from global financial services experts.

The Global Islamic Fintech Huddle 2019

November 25, 2019

Manama, Bahrain

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena-islamic-fintech-huddle

The Global Islamic Fintech Huddle is an international gathering of industry influencers and fintech visionaries passionate about using technology to drive financial inclusion in a Shariah compliant and ethical manner.

Featuring a series of high-level panel discussions, demo sessions and networking events, the Huddle is designed to be the epicenter of Islamic fintech ideas and innovation with the primary objective of connecting all stakeholders of the Islamic fintech ecosystem startups, investors, policymakers and intermediaries, to facilitate the exchange of ideas and create new collaborative business opportunities.

BlockOn 2019

December 5, 2019

Manama, Bahrain

Fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena-islamic-fintech-huddle-blockon

BlockOn 2019 aims to provide a platform for knowledge exchange that fosters synergies among market players to find solutions, and helps implement and promote innovative blockchain practices in a collaborative, open and transparent manner.

BlockOn 2019 aims to provide a platform for knowledge exchange that fosters synergies among market players to find solutions, and helps implement and promote innovative blockchain practices in a collaborative, open and transparent manner.

BlockOn 2019 will gather the blockchain community to investigate the challenges and opportunities of blockchain technology on multiple perspectives. Live panel discussions will probe deeper into what it takes for blockchain solutions to be successful and how this new and exciting technology can be applied for data integrity, trust and accessibility.

source :http://fintechnews.ae/4277/events/fintech-digital-finance-events-conference-mena/

Startup Arabia: Untold stories from top Arab entrepreneurs

Startup Arabia captures the untold stories of the high-tech entrepreneurs in the Middle East who are creating one of the most vibrant and fertile tech hubs in the world today. The book was written by Amir Hegazi, a life-long entrepreneur, with over 15 years of startup, tech, e-commerce, and digital media experience.

Through a collection of interviews, Startup Arabia touches on the early days of those entrepreneurs and the startups they created. It explores how they got their initial ideas, what challenges they faced and how they overcame them, what lessons they learned from those experiences, and what advice they have for the next generation of Middle East entrepreneurs. They also share what they believe is required to ensure continued development of a startup ecosystem in the region.

Not only did these entrepreneurs conquer the usual challenges of new tech startups; they managed to break from deep-seated tradition and societal limiting beliefs, cut through red tape, and navigate an often unfriendly startup environment.

Startup Arabia provides an eye-opening, refreshing look at the entrepreneurial journey and a much-needed call to action to aspiring entrepreneurs across the region to help shape the future of the Arab world. It was also selected among the top 17 best books for startups worldwide by Book Authority in 2019 https://bookauthority.org/books/new-startup-books

Source :
https://magnitt.com/research/startup-arabia-untold-stories-top-arab-entrepreneurs-free-book

Foloosi, a UAE Fintech startup facilitating consumer-to-business card payments

Foloosi is a UAE Fintech startup facilitating consumer-to-business card payments by enabling the business to display QR code, Payment Link and API integrations for the customer to scan & pay

What is Foloosi?

Press Release

Foloosi ( https://www.foloosi.com ) is a UAE Fintech startup facilitating consumer-to-business card payments by enabling the business to display QR code, Payment Link and API integrations for the customer to scan & pay.

Foloosi offers a complete technically advanced digital solution, which seamlessly connect consumers with businesses to provide actionable flow of events resulting in a fast and secure way of making payments based on QR codes and card networks.

Foloosi enables businesses in the UAE to get paid using QR code technology without the need of POS machine or any additional hardware. While the payment is deducted instantly, the merchant can also receive instant payment notifications.

Mission of Foloosi

World is going faster day by day with the power of digital information & technology. Our mission includes,

  • To make digitized payments/ transactions throughout UAE reforming the cash payments
  • To provide easy payments for customers to pay bills, recharge, book tickets, scan and pay etc and make them to enjoy their life
  • Enables business owners to accept payments without the need of any POS/ swipe machine or any other larger infrastructure

Products of Foloosi

QR code

Retailers can accept payment easily from customers just by generating one QR code. Customers can make payment using Scan & pay option. Customers can scan the item QR codes as they shop and can pay within minutes without queuing.

Payment link

Foloosi technology offers a marvelous solution to the likes of freelancers by enabling them to share payment web links with their clients through multiple means such as email, sms, whatsapp, social networking apps and sites.

Payment link is sending a payment request to get paid instantly.

Payment gateway

API documentation for websites is available as an option for merchants who want to accept payments on their own websites.

Businesses can accept payments in their mobile app/ website with Foloosi payment gateway API and customers can pay on merchant’s website.

Subscription

Enable recurring payment schedule, control the billing cycle and get instant alerts on subscription activity with Foloosi Subscriptions. All to do is to link a plan to the customer.

Foloosi help its merchants to offer customer subscription plans to their customers with automated recurring transactions on various payment modes, through a platform that’s built for automation.

Need of Press Release and target audience

In order to make use of Foloosi- digital payment solution by all the individuals and retailers of UAE we are launching this press release. Our target audience includes from small startups to larger organizations. All can make use of this digital payment solution and enjoy transaction in a quick and easy manner.

Benefits for customers

  • Enjoy recharges, bill payments at the tap of your fingers
  • Book tickets for events
  • Scan and pay to businesses
  • Secure and easy digital transactions with history
  • Reward points and Local shopping

Benefits for business owners

  • Accept every payment
  • Fast bank settlements
  • Secure payment
  • Good success rate
  • Business growth insights
  • Increased revenue
  • Business management

What Founder says about Foloosi?

Or

Founder says…

Mr. Omar Bin Brek, founder of Foloosi says, “Our aim is to bring innovative payment transactions throughout UAE. We developed Foloosi technology platform in order to make transactions simple, fast and secure and to reform older method of transaction i.e. cash payments and our technological innovation solves the teething problem of processing payments”

Source :
https://www.zawya.com/mena/en/press-releases/story/What_is_Foloosi-ZAWYA20190427052837/

https://magnitt.com/news/heres-everything-you-need-know-about-foloosi-uae-fintech-startup-facilitating-consumer-business-card

© Press Release 2019

DIFC signs fintech agreement with Accenture

DUBAI: Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with professional services company Accenture, to develop Financial Technology (fintech).

Under the MoU, Fintech Hive at DIFC will collaborate with Accenture’s Fintech Innovation Labs in New York, London and Hong Kong, to share resources and knowledge on the latest research and trends in financial technology.

In line with DIFC’s Growth Strategy 2024 and Dubai Vision 2021, Fintech Hive at DIFC aims to fill a void in the market by giving financial companies access to state-of-the art technologies to support their digital transformation.

“What sets us apart is our ability to harness the assets to grow fintech locally that will ultimately create more jobs, attract investments and support the economy as a whole,” said Arif Amiri, chief executive officer of DIFC Authority.

The Fintech Innovation Labs are annual 12-week accelerator programmes that bring together early-stage financial technology companies and the world’s leading financial institutions. Globally, the Labs’ alumni companies have raised more than US$1.07 billion in venture financing after participating in the programmes.

“In today’s hyper-connected world, this type of alliance is critical for maximising talent development and innovation. With surging demand for fintech solutions and Dubai’s increasing presence on the global financial scene, we are confident that this international collaboration will generate incredible opportunities for the region,” said Sushil Saluja, a senior managing director in Accenture’s Financial Services practice.

DIFC has recently announced that the 2018 programme, which is opening for applications in May, will be expanded to include insurance, Islamic finance, and regulatory technology services. First Abu Dhabi Bank, Arab Bank and Noor Bank will join the programme this year, with returning financial institutions to include Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Citigroup, Emirates Islamic, Emirates NBD, HSBC, Mashreq, Standard Chartered, UAE Exchange, and Visa.

Source : https://gulfnews.com/business/markets/difc-signs-fintech-agreement-with-accenture-1.2216804

Boost for Fintech sector as ADGM partners entities

Abu Dhabi: The UAE’s fast-growing Fintech and entrepreneurship development sector is poised to receive a major boost as Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) collaborates with difference entities, a top official said on Monday.

The development comes in the context of the announcement by His Highness Shaikh Mohammad Bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Abu Dhabi Crown Prince and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, of a Dh50 billion stimulus package to support entrepreneurs, SMEs and the private sector in their growth and innovation.

Speaking at Fintech Abu Dhabi Summit, Ahmad Al Sayegh, minister of state and chairman of ADGM said officials were in active discussions with the Department of Economic Development to boost the SME sector.

They are also working with Emirates Development Bank on initiatives that will improve the cost and ease of obtaining bank loans and supporting businesses through funding.

“This new collaboration augments the ADGM Tech Start-up licence and framework, which enable innovative tech start-ups, regardless of industries, to set up at low cost, while having access to professional services, affordable office solutions, and funding avenues all at one stop in ADGM,” Al Sayegh said.

“Also rallying the local scene is our partner — Plug and Play ADGM. Together, we co-create a structured Fintech accelerator platform to support start-ups and corporates alike.”

To provide SMEs greater access to trade finance and other markets, ADGM is also working alongside the Hong Kong Monetary Authority and Monetary Authority of Singapore, to build a blockchain-based trade financing platform for cross-border trade among the markets, he said.

On the operations of ADGM, he said a number of banks including BNP Paribas, Citibank, UniCredit and State Street Corporation, as well as international investment firms such as Softbank and McKinley Capital, have chosen to establish themselves in ADGM to expand their presence in Abu Dhabi.

Abu Dhabi Investment Authority and Mubadala, Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth funds, have also announced their plans to expand their presence and operations in the ADGM, he added.

“In particular, Mubadala’s announcement to have $1 billion [Dh3.67 billion] of technology investments by 2021 will no doubt inject new energy into the market and among innovators. Their decision to move existing or start new operations in ADGM validates our efforts and strategy as an IFC [International Financial Centre] and Fintech hub.”

SoftBank Vision Fund

Meanwhile, top executives of SoftBank said they are working closely with Mubadala in Abu Dhabi and also with Public Investment Fund in Saudi Arabia to help the companies, in which SoftBank has invested via its $100 billion Vision Fund set up in the region.

“We are working with Mubadala and Public Investment Fund to bring our portfolio of companies, where relevant, to the region so that they can actually set up local and regional businesses here and there are a number of our companies that have globally scalable models,” Faisal Rehman, Middle Eastern regional office head at SoftBank Investment Advisers, said while speaking at a panel discussion in the summit.

Mubadala Investment Company made $15 billion commitment to the Softbank Vision Fund, a major technology and innovation focused fund, alongside a consortium of leading investors including Public Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia and Apple Inc, among others.

SoftBank has offices in Riyadh and in Abu Dhabi.

Source : https://gulfnews.com/technology/boost-for-fintech-sector-as-adgm-partners-entities-1.2279497

Fintech to have greater impact on retail banking in GCC

Dubai: The financial technology (fintech) revolution that is sweeping across the banking and financial services industry across the world is likely to disrupt the retail banking business in the GCC while the overall impact on balance sheets and bank ratings is going to be minimal in the near future, according to rating agency Standard & Poor’s (S&P).

“Technological innovation in the financial sector is a global trend, reaching developed and developing economies alike. We believe that fintech could reduce the profitability of some business lines of GCC banks and change the way they operate over time.

“While we don’t expect major disruption of lending activity in the GCC,” said S&P Global Ratings credit analyst Mohammad Damak.

S&P analysts believe that fintech could impact retail banking, particularly money transfer and foreign-currency exchange business. This would push some banks to adjust their operations through increased digitalisation, branch network reduction, and staff rationalisation. Conventional banking’s value chain essentially involves functions such as taking savings, providing loans and facilitating payments. In this value chain, at the most risk of disruption is the payments business model because it is the least capital intensive and most tech intensive.

While savings and lending involve the balance sheet and regulation, in the case of payments, business is balance sheet-light and regulations are relatively lower, attracting most innovators to this segment.

In lending and savings, the impact of disruption has been slower compared to payments. S&P analysts don’t expect fintech alone to have a significant bearing on our GCC bank ratings in the foreseeable future. On average, banks in the GCC are still very profitable and efficient by global standards.

“We think that some banks are starting to realise the extent of the threats and opportunities that fintech poses, and are putting in place measures to adjust to the new realities of their operating environment,” said Damak.

Corporate lending

As corporate lending constitutes a major portion of the loan books of GCC banks, analysts believe the impact of fintech on overall profitability of banks are going to be muted.

Corporate lending remains relationship-based and the human added-value remains significant in the GCC, from corporate relationship managers all the way up to decision makers.

“While we acknowledge that fintech might help enhance the efficiency of some of these operations, we don’t think they will be significantly disrupted in the next few years,” said Damak.

Analysts expect fintech to affect GCC banks’ profitability, but not across all business lines. In 2016, the GCC banks generated around one-quarter of their revenues from fees and commission and foreign-exchange gains. The latter contributed around 6 per cent of rated GCC banks’ operating revenues over the same period. While a significant portion of these revenues relates to lending and advisory activity, part of it also relates to money transfer and currency exchange.

GCC countries remain net exporters of capital. Their small populations and significant investments and economic development have brought about a significant need to import qualified and unqualified workforces. As a result, the populations of most GCC countries are dominated by expatriates. According to the World Bank, these expatriates sent $102.5 billion (Dh376 billion) back to their home countries in 2016. Fintech could also disrupt the payment industry as it would reduce costs for end users because of the reduction in the number of participants. GCC banks only started to realise the potential risks and opportunities from the development of fintech recently.

According to EY’s GCC Fintech Play 2017 report, only 42 per cent of GCC banks that participated in EY’s survey were familiar (fairly familiar or more) with the fintech industry, while 93 per cent of GCC banks doubted that fintech players could disrupt their businesses in the short term.

In the same survey, 86 per cent of GCC banks estimated that no more than 15 per cent of banks’ business could be lost to fintech in the next five years, believing fund transfer and brokerage to be the main business lines most likely to be disrupted.

“In our view, the sooner GCC banks understand fintech’s potential threats, the better they will be able to implement defensive measures or develop collaborative strategies with new fintech players.

“Collaboration could take the form of partnering with some fintech companies for specific services, for example, allowing fintech companies to use the banking system infrastructure for clearing and settlement operations,” Damak said.

Defensive measures would primarily take the form of strengthening mobile banking services, rationalising branch networks, and refocusing staff on value-added services rather than repetitive and less-profitable operations.

Role of regulators

The role of regulators and authorities lies between protecting banks and seizing opportunities.

Clearly, regulators in the GCC are looking closely at fintech, not only from a perspective of financial stability, but also from one of collaboration.

Fintech Hive in the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), and the regulatory “sandboxes” set up by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), with similar initiatives in Abu Dhabi and Bahrain, are examples of how regulators are approaching the fintech industry.

While Fintech Hive helps fintech companies benefit from collaborations with top executives at the DIFC over a 12-week accelerator programme, the regulatory sandboxes allow fintech companies to test their innovations in the real market in a restricted regulatory environment.

In Dubai, the DFSA launched its regulatory framework for loan- and investment-based crowdfunding platforms earlier this year, and it has licensed one company for peer-to-peer lending and another for equity-based crowdfunding.

What is Fintech?

Fintech is a collection of financial technology that describes an emerging financial services sector in the 21st century.

Originally, the term applied to technology applied to the back-end of established consumer and trade financial institutions. The term has since expanded to include any technological innovation in the financial sector, including innovations in financial literacy and education, retail banking, investment and even crypto-currencies like bitcoin.

Source : https://gulfnews.com/business/banking/fintech-to-have-greater-impact-on-retail-banking-in-gcc-1.2110407

Fintech firms to benefit from DIFC $100m fund

Fintech Fund (DIFC)

Dubai:  Dubai International Financial Centre’s (DIFC) new $100 million (Dh367 million) FinTech fund, which will come from internal resources, will support Fintech Hive start-ups in Artificial Intelligence, blockchain, robotics, DIFC governor Essa Kazim said on Tuesday.

He was speaking at the Global Financial Forum, which was opened by Shaikh Maktoum Bin Mohammad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and the president of DIFC.

DIFC thinks that fintech is “underserviced” and the allocation of funding going into this new business is “very very limited” in the MEASA region, accounting to less than 1 per cent of the total.

DIFC Fintech Fund

“We are ready to spend the money. But it will depend on opportunities and if it makes commercial sense,” Kazim told reporters. “We want to consolidate the position of the DIFC and to be at the forefront of the changes that may happen in the financial sector.”

The fund can grow bigger, Kazim said.

“We have been talking with some government departments at federal level, or local level. If the interest materialises into anything then definitely the structure of the fund will be different,” he said.

“We don’t mind having other entities mainly government or semi government entities to participate in this fund. Today the fund is sufficient to support our own initiatives whether it is development of Fintech hive, the type of companies that are going to be supported by accelerator,” Kazim added.

Importance of Fintech

The 2024 strategy, which was a 10-year plan of the DIFC to triple its size, was launched 3 years ago, but Kazim didn’t envisage that Fintech would have been a part of the strategy, when the announcement was made.

“There is a new order that global financial services industry needs to navigate … the new alliances are being forged. The rapid emergence of advanced technology in all areas of finance is creating shifts like never before in the industry,” Kazim said.

Updating on the achievements made so far in the 10 year strategy rolled out in 2015, Kazim said “We are on track (in terms of meeting targets for the 10 year strategy). In certain areas we have passed our targets, but other areas we are lagging behind in area of employment. Although the number of licenses are on track attracting companies, but there is a little lag (not significant) in terms of employment,” said Kazim.

Falling oil prices has not been a negative for the center to attract businesses. Before the drop in oil price, the DIFC licensed 150 companies a year on an average, after that the average jumped to 300 companies.

“That (funding) element has encouraged banks to really expand their balance-sheet and provide credit to regional governments. Governments have been active in issuing bonds and sukuk and that also encouraged financial activities in the DIFC,” Kazim said.

DIFC also hopes to attract more asset managers, financial institutions from India and China.

Regarding competition from other financial centers, Kazim said “competition is always there. The UAE was built on competition and on market forces. We have 5 airports, and 7 ports, and financial activity is one of those things. We don’t fear competition, and it is always good.”

Source :
https://gulfnews.com/business/markets/fintech-firms-to-benefit-from-difc-100m-fund-1.2124444