MENA Fintech Association, a non-profit group that works to develop the Fintech industry in the region, is planning on expanding its operations even further. The expansion is going to take place by collaborating with dedicated government lobby teams and a global talent exchange program.
Nameer Khan, the Chairman and Founding Board Member of Mena Fintech Association, told The National, “We are focusing on what elements make up a complete Fintech ecosystem in the region, and what makes that conducive to growth.”
He thinks that some of these elements are: the understanding of related regulations and laws among the Fintech players, a wide range of talent pools and connections with different parties like central banks, governments, law firms, educational bodies and financial institutions.
The association has struck some key deals this week to broaden its operation in MENA. It has partnered with German development finance bank Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (Giz), to discover new Fintech opportunities that can boost financial inclusion. In addition, the association also signed an alliance with American University in Dubai to develop a workforce that is skillful in the Fintech sector. Moreover, the association’s partnership with Anghami, an Arab music streaming service, will launch a Fintech podcast to 50 million subscribers in MENA.
The Fintech industry is expected to make up to 8% of the total amount of financial services revenue in MENA by 2022, said a report by US technology company Accenture in partnership with Dubai accelerator FinTech Hive.
“As the FinTech ecosystem in the region grows, the community needs to collaborate more closely for a common effective voice to interact with the likes of regulators, policy makers and institutions,” said Richard Teng, chief executive of the Financial Services Regulatory Authority of ADGM, in a statement on Monday.
MENA Fintech Association started its operations last September and its official launch was announced at ADGM on Sunday. Other than Mr Khan, the founder members are: Nihal Abughattas, a former director at Swiss banking software firm Temenos; Kokila Alagh, a technology lawyer at Karm; Altaf Ahmed, director of digital payments at UAE state telecoms firm Etisalat: Umair Hameed, a partner at KPMG, and Irina Heaver, general counsel at alternative investment group Bolton Holdings.