Author: Fintechnews Middle East

The UAE is now ranked number 1 for both foreign investment inflows and outflows within the Middle East, West Asia, and North African region, putting them comfortably in the top 20 globally. Given that around 90% of the workforce is made up of expats too, money transfers are integral to the UAE economy for both workers and investors. It is surprising, then, that individuals are losing up to 5% per cross-border transaction. In respect to investing money in the UAE, this is the equivalent of a year’s return in property value or a high-interest savings account. With a 28% increase…

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Global financial services provider, Apex Group, has launched a new office in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, further expanding its footprint across the Middle East. Regulated by Saudi’s Capital Market Authority, Apex Saudi Arabia will provide a full range of innovative financial services and solutions, including managing, advisory and operating. Apex Group has much experience within the market, having served many Saudi clients from its regional offices within the Middle East region. Growth has been driven by increased demand from existing and new clients for Apex’s single-source solution. Based in Riyadh, Apex Saudi Arabia will have the largest support team…

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Saudi Arabia’s fintech industry has surged over the past years, with the number of companies operating in the sector more than doubling in 2023 compared to the end of 2022, Ayman Al-Sayari, governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), told Arab News in September 2023. A total of 89 fintech companies operated in Saudi Arabia as of the late 2022, a number that soared to over 200 companies by August 2023, he told the media outlet. This figure surpasses the central bank’s initial expectation of reaching 150 fintech companies operating in Saudi Arabia by the end of 2023, making the…

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Swypex announced its launch following a $4 million seed investment round, led by the renowned venture capital fund Accel. This marks Accel’s first fintech investment in the region. The investment also included participation from Foundation Ventures, The Raba Partnership, and industry-leading angel investors. Licensed by the Central Bank of Egypt, Swypex consolidates payments, invoice management, and smart corporate cards on a unified platform. Their products simplify financial management, empowering businesses to automate financial workflows and make payments with ease. Swypex’s corporate cards are built specifically for Egyptian businesses, designed to reduce costs, elevate operational efficiency, and facilitate scalable growth. According…

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Ramses, an American Fintech startup, revealed its strategy for the upcoming period. The Company aims to establish its business model in Egypt and Sudan in 2024, while also focusing on expansion and entering new markets across Africa and the Middle East in 2025. Additionally, Ramses announced that Chris Skinner has joined as a founding partner. This significant announcement was made during a press conference held at the Greek Campus (GC) in Cairo, coinciding with the launch of Chris Skinner’s latest book, “Intelligent Money.” Ramses has set its sights on expanding its business in the upcoming period as a leading provider…

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Forbes Middle East has released its annual selection of the Middle East’s top fintech companies, highlighting the 50 biggest and fastest-growing public and private fintech firms in the region. The 2024 Fintech 50 list showcases key players reshaping the fintech sector across the Middle East. These include digital payment providers, open banking platforms, investment and savings apps, and lending services. Payment companies dominate this year’s list with 26 entries, while buy now, pay later (BNPL) platforms continue to gain traction, with prominent players Tabby and Tamara also featured in the list. Among the represented countries, Egypt leads the pack with…

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The Ministry of Investment of Saudi Arabia (MISA) has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Ant International, to facilitate the business expansion into the Kingdom. Ant International’s President, Douglas Feagin, met with Mr. Eng Saleh Khabti, Deputy Minister of Investment of Saudi Arabia during a signing ceremony held in Riyadh, to welcome the new partnership and sign an agreement outlining shared goals for technological innovation and economic growth opportunities in Saudi Arabia. Through this partnership, MISA welcomes and supports Ant International’s expansion plan to establish an entity in Saudi Arabia, enabling assistance when acquiring licences and certificates to expand…

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On of the largest European crypto platform and infrastructure provider Bitpanda has announced plans to expand to the Middle East, with the launch of Bitpanda MENA. Bitpanda will match the region’s ambitions and provide the infrastructure necessary to power future trading growth and unlock digital assets for millions of investors. Banks, fintechs, (neo-)brokers and crypto-native companies in the region will be able to partner with Bitpanda Technology Solutions (BTS) to launch their own trading solutions powered by Bitpanda’s infrastructure in as little as 3 months once Bitpanda MENA has finalised obtaining its local licence later this year. BTS already partners…

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Abyan Capital, the first robo-advisory company to launch in Saudi Arabia, announced the closing of a SAR68 million ($18 million) Series A round led by STV with participation from Wa’ed Ventures and RZM Investment. Since its launch in 2022, Abyan Capital aim to revolutionise the financial advisory landscape in Saudi Arabia by providing automated, easy-to-use, and Shariah-compliant investment and savings solutions. The company’s product suite enables users to efficiently manage their investments, optimise their asset allocations, and achieve their financial goals with ease. “Abyan Capital was founded with the vision to simplify personal investment for everyone in Saudi Arabia, regardless…

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Checkout.com, a leading global digital payments provider, has announced a partnership with Mastercard to bring virtual cards to Online Travel Agents. As part of the Mastercard Wholesale Program, which reduces costs for travel businesses through virtual card technology and an innovative pricing model, customers of Checkout.com will be able to pay their suppliers more easily and benefit from higher conversion rates by issuing virtual cards. “Mastercard remains committed to powering the travel economy with digital payment solutions that provide greater flexibility, visibility, and protection. Over 400,000 travel providers worldwide already rely on us to enable payments through the Mastercard Wholesale…

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The Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) issued on April 23 two new fintech regulations, introducing the Open Finance Regulation and the Sandbox Conditions Regulation, a new post published by global law firm DLA Piper says. These regulations aim to foster innovation and competition in the financial sector by facilitating data sharing across various financial industries, and reflect the UAE’s commitment to digital transformation. Under the new Open Finance Regulation, licensed entities such as banks and insurance companies are mandated to grant access to customer data and enable transaction initiation to open finance providers. The regulation covers various…

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Klumi Ventures announced its achievement as the United Arab Emirates’ Web3 venture capital firm regulated by the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM). T “Klumi Ventures is honoured to be at the forefront of shaping the UAE’s digital asset landscape as the first Web3 venture capital firm regulated by the FSRA. We are proud to lead this transformative journey, shaping the future of Web3 investment and entrepreneurship in the Middle East and beyond. With ADGM’s support and the dynamic ecosystem in Abu Dhabi, we are dedicated to unlocking new avenues of growth and opportunity for…

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BioCatch, a digital fraud detection solution provider, announced that Permira Growth Opportunities II, a fund managed by global private equity firm Permira, will acquire a majority stake in the company. Financial terms of the deal was not disclosed. This agreement also sees increased investments from existing shareholders Sapphire Ventures and Macquarie Capital, aiming to bolster BioCatch’s global presence and product development. The transaction, which involves Permira buying out major shares from Bain Capital Tech Opportunities and Maverick Ventures, values BioCatch at approximately US$1.3 billion. This change comes as BioCatch continues to evolve its capabilities in fraud prevention, having extended its…

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In the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), embedded finance is picking up steam among telcos, tech startups and retailers. These companies are rapidly embracing the concept to tap into new revenue streams and enhance customer experiences, a new report by Mingzulu, a Dubai-based management consulting company, says. Embedded finance, a concept referring to the integration of financial services into non-financial platforms or products, has recorded remarkable growth in recent years, driven by various factors reshaping the financial services landscape including advancements in technology, the rise of open banking initiatives, and consumer demand for seamless experiences across all aspects of…

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The foreign exchange market, also known as forex, has the highest trading volume of any market in the world. With over $5 trillion worth of currencies traded daily, forex presents potentially lucrative opportunities for skilled traders. One of the most important concepts to understand is currency correlations. Grasping how different currency pairs relate to each other can significantly boost your trading results. What are Currency Correlations? Currency correlations refer to how closely the exchange rates of two different currency pairs move in relation to each other. Correlations can be either positive (the rates move in the same direction) or negative…

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QNB announceD the launch of Qatar’s first Open Banking API services, specifically tailored for its corporate clients. This service marks a significant milestone as the latest addition to the bank’s robust arsenal of digital solutions, providing the market with a unique solution that is set to revolutionize corporate banking. Mr. Khalid Ahmed Al-Sada, QNB Group Senior Executive Vice President, Corporate and Institutional Banking, stated, “Our goal is to enrich our corporate bank e-channels with Beyond Banking Value-Added services. We strongly believe that with the arrival of Open Banking a new digital collaborative financial ecosystem started to emerge globally, where banks…

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The Gulf region has historically been depended on the oil sector, an industry prone to price fluctuations and which is heavily influenced by geopolitical circumstances. But recent years have seen a shift toward greater diversification as Gulf investors aim to reduce reliance on oil revenues and seek a hedge against local volatility. Against this backdrop, Europe has emerged as an attractive destination for Gulf investors to diversify their investments. The region boasts a more balanced economic landscape, and has a stable and mature investment environment with established legal frameworks, regulatory systems, and transparent markets. Europe also presents a wide range…

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Careem Pay, the digital wallet and fintech platform within the Careem App, expands its international remittance services to include ‘Faster Payments’ to the United Kingdom for residents of the UAE. Careem Pay enables customers, Captains, and business owners to manage their money, settle bills, and make seamless transactions both within and beyond the app. The Careem Pay international remittance service to India and Pakistan has been adopted by expats across the UAE. The new UK remittance service enables customers in the UAE to send money to UK bank accounts in a matter of minutes using just the recipient bank account…

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Bokra, a Cairo-based fintech, announces the closure of its $4.6 million pre-Seed round led by DisrupTech Ventures, and SS Capital alongside other investors. The company aims to revolutionise wealth management in the MENA region by being the first platform to offer goal-based investment and saving products through asset backed securities. On a mission to democratise wealth management, Ayman El-Sawy, an industry veteran, founded Bokra to serve diverse financial goals and empower retail and SME’s investors to seamlessly save and invest across multiple asset classes. Bokra’s team is tackling several challenges facing retailers and SMEs looking to manage their wealth, including…

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Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) and Hacken, a global leader in blockchain security auditing, have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaboratively set new benchmarks for blockchain security and compliance. This strategic partnership reflects a unique synergy between a regulatory body and a security auditor aimed at establishing a world-leading security assessment standard in the blockchain industry. Under the MoU, ADGM’s Registration Authority (RA) will collaborate with Hacken on developing security standards and on-chain monitoring solutions in relation to ADGM’s DLT Foundations framework, positioning both organisations at the forefront of fostering a secure blockchain ecosystem. This collaboration not only…

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