PAYFORT, an online payment service provider in the Arab world, and Wamda, an entrepreneurship platform in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), have announced a collaboration to publish the first financial technology (FinTech) research report on the MENA region.
The “State of FinTech” report, which will be published later this month, will offer up-to-date data and insights on one the region’s fastest growing start-up sectors and will answer important questions about the opportunities and challenges facing the region’s home-grown FinTech industry.
Fadi Ghandour, chairperson of Wamda, said that financial services and traditional banking are being challenged by very innovative digital technology start-ups, offering simple, accessible, and lower cost mobile solutions.
He added that the industry is rapidly changing, noting that this research highlights trends in the Arab region and continues the work they do at Wamda in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem.
Meanwhile, Omar Soudodi, managing director of PAYFORT, said that FinTech start-ups in MENA now employ between 1,000-2,000 professionals, which—for an industry that almost did not exist half a decade ago—is impressive.
He added that the partnership with Wamda aims to lift the lid on the region’s FinTech industry and offer insight to those working with the sector or who are interested in investing in FinTech ventures plus the government policymakers, who can help influence and encourage growth within this promising sector.
The State of FinTech will address topics of relevance to entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, large corporations, the financial sector, and the general public.
It aims to identify the key drivers and barriers for the new FinTech industry in the region. It will also offer insights on what solutions FinTech start-ups are providing and what investors and policymakers need to consider now in order to unleash FinTech’s potential.
Ecommerce is set to quadruple in the next five years, with FinTech playing an integral role in this growth. It was forecast that it will gross around $20bn by 2020.
The region has seen a sharp rise in FinTech investments from 2015 to 2016—a 43% increase in terms of deal flow and an almost 100% increase in deal size.
However, this fast growth of the FinTech sector poses many questions for investors, banks, financial–services, and government policymakers regarding the future of FinTech start-ups in the region and their place in the financial ecosystem.
The State of FinTech will consist of six sections, including case studies and recommendations for the future development of the FinTech ecosystem. The report will share findings from research into the MENA region’s FinTech start-ups, opinion surveys of bank customers, and interviews with industry leaders and subject matter experts.