FinTech can transform KSA financial services

The 2016 Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference will be held at the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh

Tags: FinanceSaudi ArabiaUnited Arab Emirates
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FinTech can transform KSA financial services FinTech is generating opportunities for banks, investors and start-up companies around the world, however, it comes with risks and challenges
By  Aasha Bodhani Published  April 19, 2016

Financial technology or FinTech is shaking up the financial services industry, and in particular the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's financial sector.

Implementing FinTech in the Kingdom has been relatively slow, but new initiatives designed to enhance the business environment, reform regulatory support and provide access to capital are all emerging in the region.

FinTech is generating opportunities for banks, investors and start-up companies around the world, however, with this said, it can also create risks for central banks and financial institutions. According to consultancy firm, McKinsey, its global banking annual review warned that banks face a "high-stakes struggle" to defend their business models against digital disruption.

It is estimated that some 20,000 FinTech start-ups and companies are operating in the global ecosystem, offering a range of services including online cash payments and securities trading, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, blockchain and digital identities.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia will host the Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference in May, where industry experts will discuss the growing influence and impact of FinTech on the financial sector. Cloud-based payroll service, dopay International, a service which enables employers to calculate salaries and pay all employees, banked and unbanked, electronically will discuss the nature of such technology.

Its founder and chief executive officer, Frans van Eersel said: "The financial service industry is reaching its ‘Uber moment'. The wide acceptance of smartphones, cloud-computing and technologies like blockchain are fundamentally changing the way financial services will be delivered. The disruptive nature of technology that we have already seen in so many industries is now reaching the financial service industry and is set to have a major impact. Banking as we know it today will never be the same again."

Furthermore, Mamdooh Al Sedairy, chief information officer of Tadawul, will bring his experience in implementing and managing the trading systems for the Saudi Stock Exchange in 2014. Tadawul and NASDAQ began a project to replace the SAXESS trading platform with NASDAQ's latest trading platform, X-stream INET Trading, which was launched in September 2015.

The 2016 Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference is co-hosted with the Ministry of Finance and takes place on 3 and 4 May at the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh.

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