Author: Fintechnews Middle East

du, from Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company (EITC), announced the launch of du Pay, marking a significant milestone in the UAE’s transition toward a cashless economy and aligning seamlessly with the national agenda for digitalization. The digital financial solution is poised to play a pivotal role in enhancing financial inclusion, accessibility and security. Licensed by the Central Bank of the UAE, du Pay is on a mission to simplify digital financial services for everyone, everywhere in the UAE. du Pay offers a diverse suite of digital financial services and payment services, from international money transfers and peer-to-peer (P2P) Transfers to mobile…

Read More

Al Etihad Payments (AEP), a subsidiary of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), has signed a partnership with Core42, a G42 company and full-spectrum AI enablement solutions provider to mark the commencement of the implementation of Open Finance within the UAE, one of the nine initiatives within the CBUAE’s Financial Infrastructure Transformation (FIT) Programme. The signing ceremony was attended by H.E. Khaled Mohamed Balama, Governor of the CBUAE, which was signed by Fatma Al Jabri, Assistant Governor for Financial Crime, Market Conduct & Consumer Protection at the CBUAE and member of Al Etihad Payments Company, and Kiril Evtimov, Chief…

Read More

Adyen published a new research revealing the millions of Dirhams lost annually to cyberattacks in the UAE retail sector. Working alongside the Centre for Economic Business and Research (Cebr), Adyen found that the retail sector globally lost $429 billion to fraud in 2023. In the UAE, businesses on average encountered losses of approximately AED 11 million. Overall, a substantial number of UAE businesses (44%) experienced fraudulent incidents in relation to cyberattacks, or data breaches in the past year, marking a 39% increase compared to 2022. Fraudulent activity driven by cyberattacks is also impacting shopper wallets, with over a third (35%)…

Read More

Binance FZE, the Dubai entity of Binance, today announced that it has received the Virtual Asset Service Provider (VASP) licence from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA). This licence, subsequent to the previous issuance of the Minimum Viable Product (MVP) Licence. Binance CEO Richard Teng stated, “As we secure the esteemed full market VASP Licence, it notably amplifies our unwavering commitment to advancing the financial landscape through compliance and innovation. This achievement embodies our dedication to transparency, regulatory compliance, and responsible growth in the dynamic digital assets domain. Furthermore, it bears testimony to the innovative spirit of the UAE, as…

Read More

Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, has welcomed 25 new startups as part of its latest cohort. The selected startups will enter Hub71’s ‘Access’ program, and specialist ecosystems Hub71+ Digital Assets and Hub71+ ClimateTech, bringing the total number of startups currently in Hub71’s programs to 223. Hub71’s Cohort 14 has raised a total of over USD 122 million in funding, with each startup raising USD 5 million on average. Hub71 continues to attract a diverse range of international tech startups to Abu Dhabi, receiving over 1200 applications, with more than 65% from international markets. The onboarded startups hail from countries…

Read More

Fortis, a retail tech and fintech solutions provider tailored for SMEs, announced the successful completion of Series A funding round, raising $20 million in investment led by Opportunity Venture (Asia). With a decade of experience, Fortis empowers entrepreneurs to seamlessly manage offline and online transactions, streamline orders, implement personalized loyalty programs, and efficiently operate their businesses. Now, with its expansion into the UAE, Fortis is committed to supporting local businesses to generate revenue by connecting merchants and customers in a simple yet efficient way. “We are thrilled to have secured this significant investment, which will enable us to accelerate our…

Read More

Oil prices surged during the first quarter of 2024 as the supply/demand outlook tightened and global geopolitical concerns intensified, pushing both U.S. and European benchmark crude futures to five-month highs. Over the first three months of the year, WTI (West Texas Intermediate) futures contract rose by 16.1% closing at $83.20, while Brent crude rose 13%, closing the quarter at $87.50. WTI rose in every month of the first quarter, following three months of declines between October-December 2023. According to the latest Crude oil forecast for the next weeks, prices may continue to rise during the second quarter, but they remain…

Read More

Crypto.com announced that its Dubai entity, CRO DAX Middle East FZE, has received full operational approval from Dubai’s Virtual Assets Regulatory Authority (VARA) and is launching the Crypto.com Exchange for institutional investors as its first operational milestone. This operational approval follows Crypto.com’s fulfillment of the pre-operational conditions stipulated in the Virtual Asset Service Provider Licence granted to CRO DAX Middle East FZE in November 2023, and marks a first for a global crypto operator to be operational with fiat in the UAE. “We are thrilled to expand our presence and offering in the UAE with the support of VARA,” said…

Read More

The United Arab Emirates’ First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB) has announced a strategic partnership with Core42, a subsidiary of G42 specialising in AI solutions, to facilitate the transfer of its data center operations to the Microsoft Azure cloud platform. This move is part of FAB’s broader initiative towards digital transformation, aiming to enhance the efficiency and intelligence of its services across various sectors, including retail, corporate, SME, investment banking, risk management, and finance. The collaboration will utilise Microsoft Azure’s advanced cloud and AI technologies, marking a continuation of FAB’s efforts to integrate Azure’s analytics and AI solutions into its operations.…

Read More

Forbes Middle East has unveiled its Fintech 50 ranking, recognizing the region’s leading players that are revolutionizing the fintech landscape in the underserved region, spanning digital payment companies, open banking platforms, investment, saving, and lending apps. The list was constructed based on external funding, money executed through digital channels, number of app downloads, active users, consumer impact, geographic presence, and success in innovation, growth, and expansion in the past year. Fintech operations owned by exchange houses, traditional banks, and governments were excluded. Backed by ADQ, Alpha Dubai, e&, and First Abu Dhabi Bank, U.A.E.-based Wio Bank tops the 2024 list.…

Read More

Dubai-based payment gateway provider Telr has secured in-principle approval from the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) for a Retail Payment Services & Card Schemes (RPSCS) license. This initial approval marks a major step for Telr, enhancing its capability to support and innovate within the UAE’s payment solution sector. Telr, established in 2014, aims to unify the fragmented e-commerce ecosystem by facilitating the shift towards cashless transactions and digitising payment processes. The company offers a comprehensive suite of services tailored for the e-commerce industry, including secure payment gateways, real-time transaction monitoring, and specific business solutions aimed at facilitating global…

Read More

Oman Housing Bank (OHB), a primary financier of housing in Oman, has partnered with banking software company Temenos for upgrading its core banking systems to a cloud-based platform. This collaboration aims to expedite the development of new financial products and expand housing finance accessibility to a broader segment of the Omani population. OHB, recognised for its role in Oman’s economic growth, facilitates government-subsidised housing loans, primarily targeting individuals with low to moderate incomes. In the initial half of 2023, the bank successfully processed over 2,000 housing loans, amounting to more than 86 million Omani Rials (approximately US$ 223 million). The…

Read More

Qatar Islamic Bank (QIB) introduced a new Prepaid Card “Himyan”, the first Qatari national prepaid card, to all existing customers, residents, and visitors of Qatar allowing secure payments within Qatar. The first Qatari national prepaid card is an initiative of the Qatar Central Bank with its own trademark in Qatar, as part of its efforts to develop electronic payment services and enhance financial inclusion in the country. The name of the card comes from the moneybag used by merchants in ancient Arabia. As part of QIB’s efforts to support the national vision and enhance financial inclusion, QIB customers and non-banking…

Read More

The Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ADCCI) announced the establishment of a working group for startups and small and medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs), which will represent the interests of startups and SMEs registered in Abu Dhabi. This is a strategic step that seeks to achieve the Abu Dhabi Chamber’s vision of making the Emirate the first choice for doing business in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region by 2025. The Startups and SMEs Working Group will operate under the umbrella of ADCCI and is dedicated to empowering businesses, increasing their role in the economic development of Abu…

Read More

In March 2023, the Central Bank of UAE (CBUAE) announced that it had begun its journey into the world of digital currencies. The project, which they coined the ‘Digital Dirham’, was to tackle the typical pain points of cross-border payments — an activity that is particularly important to the UAE, where over 85% of the population are expat residents. Much like the Bank of England’s announcement of its own digital currency plans, it has spurred a lot of debate. When it comes to impact on investors, it begs the question of what is forex trading, because we do not know…

Read More

Global payments platform Adyen announced that it has expanded its partnership with Cleeng into the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Cleeng, known for its Subscriber Retention Management (SRM) software in the media and entertainment sectors, marks its entry into the UAE, enhancing its services for broadcasters in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region. This strategic expansion is in response to the needs of TOD, a major sports and entertainment streaming service under the beIN Media Group in the MENA region, underscoring the growing demand for Cleeng’s services in new markets. The partnership addresses the challenge of revenue loss due…

Read More

The banking industry stands at the brink of a major transformation, driven by rapid technological advancements and changing customer expectations in a dynamic digital landscape. This transformation is not without its challenges, as banks grapple with the critical task of bridging the gap between traditional banking services and the demands of a digital-first customer base.  Factors such as the unbanked population, system outages, cybersecurity threats, and the rise of fintechs pose significant barriers to this connection, underscoring the urgent need for banks to fortify their operational resilience (OpRes) and Information Technology resilience (ItRes).  In this context, the notion of resilience…

Read More

Africa and the Middle East boast 12 prominent e-wallets. These platforms are primarily provided by telecom companies, enable users to varied operations from the mobile phones, including payments, money transfers and remittances, and are gaining ground at a fast pace, a market analysis by financial data company FXC Intelligence reveals. The report, titled “The state of e-wallets: Africa and the Middle East”, looks at the e-wallet market in Africa and the Middle East, identifying the main players and exploring their offerings. It highlights the region’s significant population of unbanked individuals alongside the increasing prevalence of mobile phones, which is fueling…

Read More

Vis has joined the Dubai FinTech Summit organised by Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), as a Founding Partner & Co-Host underscoring its dedication to support innovative and future thinking businesses on a global scale. Visa has cemented its partnership with DFS through a strategic three-year agreement, demonstrating a strong commitment to the fintech ecosystem. Through initiatives like the Fast Track programme, Accelerators and Visa Everywhere, Visa is at the forefront of empowering Fintechs, providing them with the necessary resources and personalised tools to create innovative solutions needed to enhance the digital economy for consumers and businesses. Mohammad Alblooshi, CEO at…

Read More

bolttech, an international insurtech company, has announced a partnership with stc Group, a key player in telecommunications and digital transformation in the Middle East. This partnership marks bolttech’s expansion to several new markets, leveraging stc Group’s established presence in the Middle East. This strategic collaboration is poised to offer stc’s clientele device protection services, integrating advanced technology into the customer experience. The partnership will not only focus on mobile device protection but also intends to broaden its scope to include IoT-enabled solutions for a comprehensive range of products such as home appliances, health electronics, and cybersecurity for personal assets. Rob…

Read More