Middle East Fintech Weekly Digest: Cashless Payments Surge in Bahrain

Middle East Fintech Weekly Digest: Cashless Payments Surge in Bahrain

by 12. September 2021

Last week in Middle East fintech news, the DIFC announced that it had reached its 2024 target of tripling in size three years ahead of schedule (Fintech News).

The 10-year long ‘2024 Strategy,’ announced in 2014, was aimed at placing the DIFC amongst the top 10 financial centres across the world, growing the number of financial firms to 1,000, and total companies by 3x. Last week, the DIFC announced that it had successfully reached this target with a total of 3,292 companies registered with the DIFC.

In other Middle East fintech news last week, Bahrain achieved a stellar growth record in cashless payments across the country, while three Middle East-based fintech companies picked up funding deals.

Cashless payments: Highlights from Bahrain

Cashless payments in Bahrain rose to US$3.62 billion in the first half of the year, amidst a region-wide boom in paytech (Fintech News).

More than 53 million digital payment transactions were recorded in the country in H1 2021, with POS and ecommerce transactions jumping 65% year on year in September. BenetPay, Bahrain’s national digital wallet, saw a surge of 785% in the number of Fawri+ (an online payment service) remittances on BenetPay, exceeding US$5 million in value.

Elsewhere, Bahrain-listed Investcorp tech-focused private equity arm Investcorp Technology Partners snapped up the business and assets of fintech company MIR Limited (Zawya). Based in the Isle of Man, MIR Limited is a 2016-founded company that specialises in contactless wearable payment technology.

MNT-Halan and Klaim raise funds

Egypt-based super app MNT-Halan, which offers fintech and logistics solutions, bagged US$120 million in a mega round last week (Fintech News).

The round was raised from Apis Partners, Development Partners International, and Lorax Capital Partners. It also had participation from Middle East Venture Partners, Endeavor Catalyst, and DisruptTech.

MNT-Halan’s umbrella of services covers everything from business and consumer lending to digital payments, along with delivery, ride-hailing and courier services.

Klaim, a UAE-based healthcare financing solution, also secured pre-Series A funding of US$1.6 million last week (Fintech News). The startup helps healthcare providers manage cash flow crunches due to insurance delays, by stepping in with access to liquidity.

In the latest funding news, Egyptian micro loan solutions provider Kashat raised US$1.75 million in bridge funding according to an announcement today (Fintech News). The company’s mobile app, which provides micro loans of EGP 100 to EGP 1500, was launched just in February this year.

That’s a wrap for the week. Hit subscribe on the Fintech News Middle East newsletter to receive the top Middle East fintech news in your inbox.

Featured image: edited from Unsplash

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