Banks, fintech firms to collaborate on future of digital payments in KSA

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May 1, 2018

RIYADH — The future of digital payments in Saudi Arabia will be the focus of discussions next week as Banks and Fintech companies collaborate on technology innovations that will transform the digital payment landscape to address the fast-paced change in consumer and business requirements for mobile banking, easy access to payments, real-time payments and fluidity of international payments. The first MEFTECH Payments event in Saudi Arabia to be held at the InterContinental Hotel on May 9-10, initiated in partnership with mada, the national payment network and SADAD Payment System to drive the digital payment transformation in Saudi Arabia towards the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

With global FinTech investment in banking reported by statista to be $19.9 billion by 2020 in the US alone and China as global leaders in non-traditional payment options with their mobile payments market valued at $5.5trillion last year the opportunity presented by collaboration between banks and fintech companies joining forces in Riyadh is enormous.

Omar Hashem, EVP Head of Digital Banking, National Commercial Bank, sponsors of next month’s event, said: “Technology has made financial services more accessible and, indeed, more personal: Banking has now become about experience, convenience and satisfaction and the only way to achieve that is through the continuous nurturing and development of a healthy ecosystem where the lines of financial and technical services converge. To remain the leader in financial services, we must have the happiest customers. It is our duty as a Bank towards our customers and our country to realize the vision set by the 2030 initiative: continuously enabling financial products and services across the gamut consumers. From mega-government initiatives to SMEs & personal banking.”

Esam Alnahdi, CEO of HalalaH a pioneer in Saudi Arabia Fintech, added: “A huge challenge that remains in the Saudi Arabia market is the high dependency on cash transactions. HalalaH aims to provide individuals and merchants with user-friendly e-wallets to transform our daily payments experience in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 vision. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) is being very supportive to Fintech and its ecosystem, including banks who are showing a lot of openness and collaboration and we look forward to contributing to MEFTECH Payments.’

MEFTECH Payments will be attended by Banks, Government Departments, Financial Institutions, and Enterprises for the two-day exhibition and conference which will address topics including: the real-time payments world and the impact on banking in the Middle East; review the mobile banking boom and how Apple Pay, Samsung Pay and Android Pay are changing the payment landscape; role of identity within security-identity management and information security; safeguarding measures financial institutions need to put in place for the advancement of mobile payments; looking to the future of transaction banking, from bank to bank, country to country; and consumer education on digital wallets and what the financial services sector can do to educate them.

MEFTECH Director, Oliver Bickell added: “MEFTECH is the longest running Banking & Financial Technology event in the MENA Region. Over the years MEFTECH has brought together more than 8,000 financial industry executives and over 1,000 technology providers in Bahrain, Dubai & Abu Dhabi. Building upon this rich pedigree of success, MEFTECH Payments will open for the first time in Saudi Arabia on May 9, 2018 in Riyadh.” — SG

This article was first published in Saudi Gazette

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