The development of a fintech ecosystem is a significant component of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 economic diversification strategy.
Saudi Arabia is seeking a coordinated approach to the regulation and nurturing of fintech start-ups with the UAE and Bahrain, reported local daily, Arab News.
The development forms part of the Kingdom’s attempts to boost its emerging fintech ecosystem and to encourage the increased adoption of technology by incumbent lenders.
Mishari Al-Assailan, the acting head of Fintech Saudi, said that, discussions with central banks in the UAE and Bahrain would help to coordinate the fintech activities of financial centres around the Gulf region, all of whom are seeking to attract international and domestic entrepreneurs.
Last week Saudi Arabia’s Capital Market Authority approved the Kingdom’s first trial fintech licences to Manafa Capital and Scopeer to offer crowdfunding investment services.
Fintech initiatives in Saudi Arabia have been trailing behind compared to Bahrain and the UAE. Abu Dhabi Global Market launched its RegLab sandbox in November 2016 and Dubai International Financial centre launched ‘FinTech Hive’ the region’s first fintech accelerator programme, in January 2017.
The emphasis on fintech as part of Vision 2030 has subsequently made the Kingdom a more attractive destination for start-ups.
Fintech segments such as robo-advisory services, robo-banking, crowdfunding and payment aggregation all offer significant growth opportunities, added Al-Assailan.