Fintech Saudi signs MoU with Kyndryl to become a partner in the King

Fintech Saudi and Kyndryl (NYSE: KD), the world’s largest IT infrastructure services company, have signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to help accelerate the adoption of advanced innovation among Saudi Arabia’s home-grown and locally based entrepreneurs and startups in the financial technology (fintech) industry. The collaboration is part of Fintechs Enablement Program (Makken), an initiative by Fintech Saudi and supported by Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) and the Capital Market Authority. It is aimed at helping fintech entrepreneurs and startups go to market faster and more efficiently. The program closely aligns with the Kingdom’s fintech strategy, which is part of the pillars of the Financial Sector Development Program, that supports the strategic objective of “Saudi Vision 2030”. Makken is a verb in Arabic that means “to enable” or “to empower.”Launched in April 2018 by SAMA in collaboration with the Capital Market Authority, Fintech Saudi serves as a catalyst for the Kingdom’s fintech industry development. It aims to transform Saudi Arabia into an innovative fintech hub, facilitate infrastructure, capabilities and talent development, and provide support to entrepreneurs and startups throughout their developmental stages. According to SAMA’s annual fintech report, the number of fintech companies operating in Saudi Arabia has increased by approximately 300% since 2021, generating a total revenue of SR2.8 billion ($746.4 million) in 2022.Under the MoU, Kyndryl aims to support fintech entrepreneurs and startups by providing a secure, fully managed, cloud-based incubation platform so that startups can focus on developing prototypes, use cases, and products and services prior to seeking funding. Throughout the incubation period, Kyndryl will provide technical support and additional resources to help transform ideas into viable, real-world technological innovations.Additionally, Fintech Saudi and Kyndryl will co-host hands-on seminars, events, and workshops aimed at nurturing knowledge sharing, networking opportunities, and the promotion of modernization within the FinTech community."We are proud to be chosen as an enablement partner for Saudi Arabia’s fintech entrepreneurs and startups and have the opportunity to contribute to the growth of the financial services sector in Saudi Arabia," said Andreas Beck, Vice President and Managing Director, Kyndryl Middle East and Africa. "Through the collaborative efforts of both organizations leveraging their strengths and resources, we are well-positioned to facilitate the development of innovative value propositions across the financial services value chain, addressing customer needs."In the presence of the leadership team from both organizations, the MoU was signed by Nizar Al-Haider, Director at Fintech Saudi and Andreas Beck, Vice President and Managing Director, Kyndryl Middle East and Africa.

MENA Fintech Association appoints Bryan Zhang, Co-founder of Cambridge Centre

Dubai, UAE - As the MENA Fintech Association continues to further carve out its place in the dynamic and ever-evolving world of fintech, the organization is thrilled to welcome Bryan Zhang to its Advisory Board (Academic). With his extensive background in researching financial and regulatory innovation globally, Bryan's appointment is set to provide a fresh perspective on the fintech industry in the MENA region.Bryan Zhang, the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance at the University of Cambridge Judge Business School, brings with him a wealth of experience in the global fintech landscape. Having co-authored more than 50 influential industry and policy reports over the last decade, covering a wide range of topics from crowdfunding, marketplace lending, digital assets, green finance, open banking and regulatory innovation, Bryan's appointment is a testament to his exceptional expertise and knowledge of the field.As a valuable addition to the Advisory Board, Bryan's insights on emerging market trends, global opportunities and risks, regulatory changes and supervisory innovation, policymaking and digital financial inclusion will undoubtedly be beneficial in helping to shape the future of fintech in the MENA region. His appointment is a clear indication of the association's commitment to empowering the fintech industry through networking, advocacy, and knowledge sharing and building stronger ties with global Academia."We are excited to have Bryan join the MENA Fintech Association's Advisory Board (Academic), who has been a vital part of MFTA with his ongoing contributions and his extensive network," said Nameer Khan, Chairman & Founding Board Member of the MENA Fintech Association. "His appointment reflects our ongoing efforts to bring together not just industry experts and innovators but also leading academia to drive knowledge, growth, and success in the fintech sector."“FinTech holds tremendous potential to widen the access to finance for millions of consumers and SMEs across the MENA region. I am delighted to join the Advisory Board of the MENA FinTech Association and contribute as an Academic Advisor to promote evidence-based decision-making, innovator-regulator dialogue and cross-regional collaboration, which are necessary to create a sustainable and inclusive FinTech ecosystem.”, said Bryan Zhang.With the MENA Fintech Association leading the way in creating an open and collaborative ecosystem for fintech stakeholders, Bryan's appointment is yet another step in the association's mission to empower the fintech industry in the MENA region to succeed and flourish.

Fintech Saudi: Over SAR 1.50bln has been invested in Saudi fintech industry

Over the last 12 months, the financial technology (“fintech”) industry in Saudi Arabia has continued to grow at a rapid pace. The recently published Fintech Saudi Annual Report 2021/2022, highlights that the number of fintech companies active in Saudi Arabia rose dramatically by 79% and investment into Saudi fintech companies for the year exceeded SAR 1.50 bn (USD 400m).During 2021 / 2022 we have seen the development of a maturing fintech industry in the Kingdom,” said Nezar Alhaidar, Director of Fintech Saudi. “This year has been a significant year for the development of the Fintech industry in the Kingdom with the launch of the Fintech Strategy, which will drive Saudi Arabia to become a global fintech hub. We are pleased that we are on the way to achieving this target with 147 fintechs now active in the Kingdom.”The report emphasized that over the last year there has been a growth in almost all fintech areas and in particular infrastructure activities as the Kingdom prepares for Open Banking.. In addition to the approval of the Fintech Strategy, there have also been a number of regulatory developments including the approval of a third digital bank, enhancements to the Saudi Central Bank Regulatory Sandbox and the release of the regulatory framework for equity crowdfunding license.Fintech Saudi has also continued to play a pivotal role in supporting the fintech industry with the launch of its co-working space, the Hub, that has become the home of fintech activity in the Kingdom and successful completion of the first accelerator program to support fintech companies with regulatory applications.Moreover, the report anticipated the year 2022/2023 to be another significant period for the fintech industry. with the launch of 3 new digital banks, new regulations released by SAMA and CMA and the implementation of the Fintech Strategy.The Fintech Saudi Annual Report consists of a number of sections including the Fintech Strategy, Innovation in the Capital Market, Digital Banking, and the View from Fintech’s in Saudi.