Author: Fintechnews Middle East

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…

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Kigali International Financial Centre (KIFC) and Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) establishing a comprehensive framework for collaboration between the two financial centres. The strategic collaboration was inked in ADGM’s Authority Building with an esteemed delegation from Rwanda. The partnership aims to foster cooperation within both financial centers including but not limited to promotion and international development, mutual recognition, capacity building and skills development, sustainable finance, and Islamic finance. Furthermore, the regulatory authorities of the IFCs will explore mutual recognition agreements for regulated entities based in either country with a view to opening opportunities in…

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Bahrain’s sovereign wealth fund Mumtalakat announced an investment in Singapore Gulf Bank (SGB), a new digital bank founded by Whampoa Group. This investment will support SGB’s launch and growth in Bahrain, following the bank’s recent licensing approval from the Central Bank of Bahrain. SGB will offer a digital banking platform for global investors, institutions, and innovators, providing access to conventional and digital assets, real-time settlements, and asset management. The bank aims to bridge the gap between Asia and the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region, facilitating cross-border trade and promoting financial connectivity. Bahrain’s established financial hub, growing economy, and…

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) today announced it will launch an AWS infrastructure Region in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in 2026. The new AWS Region will give developers, startups, entrepreneurs, and enterprises, as well as healthcare, education, gaming, and nonprofit organizations, greater choice for running their applications and serving end users from data centers located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, ensuring that customers who want to keep their content in-country can do so. As part of its long-term commitment, AWS is planning to invest more than $5.3 billion (approx. 19.88 billion Saudi riyal) in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.…

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MoneyHash, an USA and Egypt based payment orchestration platform has successfully raised $4.5M in a seed funding round. The round was co-led by COTU Ventures and Sukna Ventures, with participation from RZM Investment, Dubai Future District Fund, VentureFriends, and a group of strategic investors and operators. This funding will enable MoneyHash to further invest in its technology and expand its business growth initiatives across the region. Addressing Challenges in The MEA Payments Landscape The payments landscape in the MEA is highly fragmented. Each country has tens of payment providers and methods, developing payment regulations, limited economic integration with other markets,…

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Responding to growing demand for Finance-as-a-Service propositions in the Middle East, Swiss embedded Finance Fintech additiv, has announced that it is expanding its presence in Dubai, UAE by opening a new, fully operational office location in the heart of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the Innovation One building. In addition to bolstering its executive team on the ground, additiv reiterates its commitment to hire key personnel from the local market across research and development, customer delivery and sales to ensure the continued implementation of industry-leading wealth, credit and insurance solutions and fulfill the growing ambitions of its customers and partners.…

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Bahrain based EazyPay, a financial institute specialized in Point-of-Sale (POS) and online payment gateway acquiring services, has joined forces with Visa, to enable Visa Direct for EazyPay’s customer base. This first-of-its-kind collaboration in Bahrain marks the initial deployment of Visa Direct Account Funding Transaction (AFT) solution within the nation, empowering consumers with seamless and secure fund transfers to accounts both within Bahrain and across the globe. Upon integration of Visa Direct capabilities into EazyPay’s service offerings, customers will gain the ability to fund their accounts domestically, encompassing multiple currencies, through Visa’s expansive network of local banking partners. Malak Alsaffar, Visa’s…

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Abu Dhabi Global Market announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding with Etihad Aviation Group, aiming to spearhead initiatives that build on ADGM’s value proposition and further strengthen Abu Dhabi’s position as a preferred destination for regional and global companies to expand and grow their business operations. The strategic MoU was signed on 26 February 2024 between Abdulla Al Qubaisi, Chief Support Services Officer at ADGM Authority and Dr. Nadia Bastaki, Chief People & Corporate Affairs Officer, Etihad Airways. Key areas of collaboration under the MoU will bring together ADGM and Etihad Airways by offering discounts and exclusive offers…

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In the financial services industry, generative artificial intelligence (AI) is poised to usher in a myriad of opportunities, promising enhanced job productivity, improved efficiencies and hyper-personalization. But despite these prospects, the technology is also expected to introduce a number of risks and challenges which necessitate cross-industry cooperation, experts said during a recent webinar hosted by London-based identity verification specialist Sumsub. The webinar, titled “Generative AI in Fintech: How It is Changing the Game in MENA” and hosted on February 20, featured top executives from banking group Citigroup, venture investment firm 237 Ventures, and Sumsub. These industry experts came together to…

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The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region is experiencing significant growth in its fintech sector, with several cities located in Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) nations in particular emerging as globally recognized fintech hubs. But in order to sustain this momentum, greater efforts must be put forth to fill both the talent and the capital gaps, a new report by Strategy&, the strategy consulting business unit of Big Four consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), says. The paper, titled “Fintech in the Middle East: Building on the Momentum”, looks at the rise of fintech in MENA, showcasing the sector’s growth over the past…

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Qatar Central Bank (QCB) has called on the local banks to adjust their status as part of its preparations to launch the instant payment service (Fawran) in March 2024. The service is within the QCB’s pioneering and innovative initiatives in the fields of payment and digital transformation in Qatar. It is in alignment with the 3rd Qatar Financial Sector Strategy (FSS) and a complement to the QCB’s efforts aimed at upgrading the payment infrastructure systems and keeping up with the latest developments in electronic payment and funds transfer system. On this occasion, Assistant Governor, Financial Instruments and Payment Systems at…

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Personetics, a global provider of data-driven personalisation solutions, announced that it has named Udi Ziv as its new Chief Executive Officer. Ziv, who brings a wealth of experience from previous leadership roles, including at SAP, NICE, and Earnix, will replace David Sosna, the company’s co-founder. Sosna, who has been at the helm for 13 years, having led Personetics through its global expansion plans, will step down but remain involved to offer support as needed. Ziv’s appointment is seen as a strategic move to guide Personetics through its next growth phase, building on the momentum established under Sosna’s leadership. “Personetics thrives…

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Hub71, Abu Dhabi’s global tech ecosystem, and Stride Ventures, a venture debt fund, have partnered to support startups in Abu Dhabi. Through this partnership, Hub71 will leverage Stride Ventures’ expertise, to provide startups with access to capital and mentorship opportunities required to scale their ventures to new heights. In parallel, Stride Ventures will be a valuable capital partner for Hub71, offering alternative financial solutions and support through venture debt, which complements traditional equity funding. Stride Ventures will also provide comprehensive mentorship programs, offering startups with the guidance they need to navigate the complexities of business expansion. Hub71 and Stride Ventures…

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The second session of the Joint Economic and Financial Committee between the Ministry of Finance of the State of Qatar and the Swiss Federal Finance Department was held recently in Doha. HE Minister of Finance Ali bin Ahmed Al Kuwari chaired the Qatari side while the Swiss side was chaired by HE Federal Councillor and Head of the Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education and Research (EAER) of Switzerland Guy Parmelin. A lineup of senior officials from government and private agencies in both countries attended the meeting. The committee discussed a set of proposals and visions to enhance economic and…

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Emirates NBD announced a strategic partnership with Silent Eight, a technology company which offers an advanced AI and machine learning platform to identify and prevent financial crime. The partnership is in line with Emirates NBD’s vision to be the most innovative bank for its customers, people, and communities, and follows a successful Proof of Value (PoV) engagement that demonstrated Silent Eight’s ability to automate the alert screening investigation process and improve the efficiency, accuracy and auditability of the bank’s compliance operations. In collaboration with Emirates NBD’s FinTech Partnership and Engagement Team, the PoV involved testing Silent Eight’s solution on alerts…

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The Middle East is witnessing a dynamic shift in consumer behavior, preferences and digital adoption, prompting a transition towards online shopping and e-commerce, a new report by RetailX, a UK-based retail and e-commerce research company, says. The report, titled “Middle East ecommerce region report 2023”, provides insight into the retail environment in the Middle East, looking in depth at shopper behaviors and consumer preferences across the region, and exploring the impact of the increasing use of digital channels on brick-and-mortar stores and payment preferences. In particular, the report delves into six countries in particular, namely Iran, Israel, Qatar, Saudi Arabia,…

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Governments and tax authorities are driving the need for businesses to adopt E-Invoicing across the globe. As more countries across the Middle East mandate E-Invoicing, tax becomes an integral part of day-to-day finance and commercial operations. In the United Arab Emirates, the Ministry of Finance is set to introduce the “E-Billing System” project, which envisions the implementation of an advanced nationwide electronic billing system. This initiative is expected to incorporate the Peppol CTC mandate, addressing nationwide E-Invoicing and E-Reporting requirements. Additionally, the system will automate tax return filing procedures, enhancing the efficiency of the tax system, promoting tax compliance, and…

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On December 20, 2023, Peace Itimi, the host of Founders Connect, a YouTube show that interviews up-and-coming entrepreneurs in the African startup landscape, premiered a new documentary spotlighting the Nigerian tech ecosystem. The documentary, titled “Innovating Africa: The Rise of Tech in Nigeria”, delves into the evolution of the ecosystem over the past 15 years, featuring key insights from prominent industry players including Oo Nwoye, Kola Aina, Odun Eweniyi, Adia Sowho, Tomi Davies, Jason Njoku, and Iyin Aboyeji. It explores the rapid ascent of Nigeria’s tech ecosystem, showcasing its growth and highlighting the most pivotal moments and policies that have…

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Though still in their early stages of development compared to Europe and the US, neobanks are playing a growing role in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region by addressing challenges in accessing traditional financial services. The Fintech Times identified 45 neobanks in the MEA region, comprising mostly of digital banking arms launched by traditional banks. This trend reveals that traditional banks in Africa are adapting to consumers’ changing preferences and technological advancements with digital banking solutions of their own. Examples include Emirates NBD’s Liv, Mashreq Bank’s Mashreq Neo, ADCB’s Hayyak, Leumi Bank’s Pepper, ABC Bank’s ila Bank, Gulf International…

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WRISE Group, an independent multi-family office, has appointed Dhruba Jyoti (DJ) Sengupta as CEO of its newly established Middle East subsidiary, located in Dubai. This expansion is part of WRISE’s broader strategy to extend its reach into the United Arab Emirates and the wider Middle Eastern region, following their acquisition of the Category 3C license in 2022. Sengupta brings over two decades of experience in the financial sector, particularly in wealth management across the Middle East and North Africa as he previously held roles at Citibank N.A. and as CEO. WRISE Middle East is part of the group’s broader commitment…

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