Fintech to account for 8% of Middle East financial services revenue by 2022: report

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The fintech sector in the Middle East and Africa is forecast to make up 8% of financial services revenue by 2022, driven by customer demand and increased investment in the sector, according to a report published today.

The report by New York-based technology company Accenture in partnership with FinTech Hive, an arm of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), foresees “huge” opportunity for growth across the region.

Yet it also acknowledges considerable challenges to the development of financial technology, including a lack of funding, limited market reach, shortage of skills and inconsistencies in regulation.

The report shows that the number of fintech companies registered across Africa and the Middle East grew nine-fold to 839 in 2017, up from from just 91 in 2010.

This, the report argues, represents a “huge” opportunity for financial services companies, technology firms and governments. Much of the current fintech activity is centered in and around hubs in Dubai, Abu Dhabi and Manama, with African fintech businesses most developed in Lagos and Nairobi.

Arif Amiri, chief executive of DIFC Authority, said: “DIFC tripled its commitment to fintech in 2018, and we have delivered on this promise by broadening our scope, bringing new partners on board and introducing dedicated streams for insurtech, regtech and Islamic fintech.”

Author spotlight

Christopher Copper-Ind

Christopher Copper-Ind is editor-in-chief of International Investment. Before this, he was editorial director of The Business Year, from 2014 to 2017.