MEFTECH highlights potential of financial technology in MENA banking

The two-day event hosted 11 keynote presentations, five case studies and ten roundtable discussions.

Tags: United Arab Emirates
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MEFTECH highlights potential of financial technology in MENA banking Skinner: "The UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman are perfectly placed both geographically and in terms of resource to deliver to these markets by becoming financial technology hubs."
By  Alexander Sophoclis Pieri Published  March 15, 2017

Running from the 13 - 14 March, 2017, the latest iteration of MEFTECH, delved into the latest developments in technology that are impacting the global financial sector.

In attendance were board level executives from a number of high-profile financial institutions in the UAE and Saudi Arabia.

The two-day event hosted 11 keynote presentations, five case study presentations and ten roundtable discussions. Additionally, the event hosted over a dozen of live demonstrations from both established and newly-minted financial technology firms.

Commenting during the event, Arnold Gutmann, senior executive partner for Gartner in the MENA region, said: "By 2021, 20% of the total amount spent online will have involved one of the seven digital giants (Alibaba, Google, Amazon, Tencent, Facebook, Baidu or Apple), $1tn will have been saved by the Internet-of-Things by 2022 and healthcare costs will have been cut by 40% by 2020.

"We also believe 2 million people will be required by their employer to wear health and fitness tracking devices by 2018 - so get your running shoes on."

Further figures from Gartner project that by 2020, 100 million people will utilise augmented reality to conduct their shopping, while 30% pf people will browse without a screen.

Sharing his thoughts on the market, Chris Skinner, CEO of TheFinanser.com, commented: "The UAE, Bahrain, Qatar and Oman are perfectly placed both geographically and in terms of resource to deliver to these markets by becoming financial technology hubs.

"They need to do all they can to attract the right people, skills, technology and businesses to the region to ensure they can become financial technology hubs. They just need to do it quickly before they miss the opportunity.

"The GCC countries can definitely make this happen though. For example, look what's been achieved in Dubai, it was recently rated the 18thmost significant financial hub in the world, but that has been achieved in just 12 years. Imagine what it can achieve in the next 12 years," he added.

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