Every crisis brings with it a series of transformations, as
the world, businesses and individuals start to adapt to a new reality. The
COVID-19 crisis has undoubtedly brought about a new technological revolution,
and opportunities for companies operating in the tech sphere, have surfaced as
a result of the crisis.
As businesses have been forced to shift their operations
online, and teams are working remotely, the trends in payments and cash have
followed suite. As a result of the challenges that the COVID-19 pandemic has
brought about, there are numerous voids to be filled, and companies are jumping
at the chance to facilitate the lives of individuals across the globe.
One sector that is on the rise is Fintech, due to numerous
factors. Firstly, banks have been too slow to respond to cash requirements of
both individuals and businesses, and secondly, people are more reluctant to
hold and use cash, out of fear of transmitting the virus.
In the MENA region, governments have eyed the potential and
need for the Fintech industry to grow, and have laid the required foundation
accordingly. Regulatory frameworks allow for Fintechs to navigate more easily
and gain greater access to funding, and sandboxes are allowing for greater
innovation in this sphere.
We will start to see trends emerge in the coming year, and
the growth of the adoption Fintech products and services:
- We will move rapidly into a digital only world in more
developed markets. Across the MENA region, digital payment providers have seen
a growth in business activity, due to a sharp increase in online purchases and
e-commerce activity. We will see more opportunities arise, as digital payments
and mobile app usage grow.
- Financial institutions, mainly banks, will seek tech
companies to invest in, to develop their digital transformation programs. The
activities will move from in-house to external companies to move ahead of the
competition. Mergers & acquisitions in this field will also be seen in the
- Remittances and payments are being predominantly carried out
online. Merchants and businesses are accepting online payments to a greater
degree, as a result of COVID-19. In addition, remittances, to and from the MENA
region, have moved to fintech-based solutions to process transactions.
- Insurance companies are diversifying in fintech, with
regional companies creating solutions to spread insurance cover and facilitate
the purchase of policies online.
- More and more investments will be made in fintech companies
that are agile and those showcasing innovative products and services. However,
the competition in the funding sphere will likely rise, and companies in
late-stage valuations will be met with increasing pressure.
One thing is for sure, the world post COVID-19, will
transform and be navigated online.
Here are some of the rising fintech startups, based on
social listening and funding, in the MENA region, according to a report by
ArabyAds, in collaboration with Meltwater:
- Bayzat, an Online Health Insurance & HR Solutions
- PayTabs, an Online Payment Processing Solutions (Saudi
- Aqeed, an Insurance Solutions Platform (UAE)
- Beehive, an SME Focused Peer2peer Lending Platform (UAE)
- Souqalmal.com, Financial Products Comparison Site (UAE)
And here are some of the thriving fintech startups and
scaleups, part of the BDD community:
- Bluering, a fintech company delivering commercial and retail
credit management solutions to MENA-based banking and financial sector
- Let’s Grant, a microloans payment provider
- Juno, a payment product microloan provider
- Hedgeguard, front-to-back portfolio management platform
- Simetric International, financial consulting in fintech
- Money, fintech lending platform
- Nymcard, fintech platform for payments
- PinPay, mobile payment and banking services
Share your fintech story. Are you a MENA region based
fintech entity? Share your story with us, on firstname.lastname@example.org
on April 28, 2020
by Beirut Digital District