Riyad Bank has launched a 100 million Saudi riyals ($26.7m) program to invest in financial technology startups, the bank announced at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in Saudi Arabia.
The program aims to forge strategic partnerships with entrepreneurs and technology companies, provide solutions and support in the field of financial technology, and create new industries and innovative business models.
The Saudi bank, which is in merger talks with to merge with National Commercial Bank, reported this week a 59 per cent year-on-year increase in its net profit for the third quarter of this year.
Riyad Bank CEO Tariq Al Sadhan said that the proliferation of technology has fueled the emergence of fintechs, which have impacted business models and increased tech-savvy customers.
He added that the bank is partnering with digital startups and entrepreneurs to enhance digital services and expedite the process of launching new products.
Saudi Arabia joined the race to promote fintech ecosystem following other Gulf countries such as UAE and Bahrain, after Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) launched Fintech Saudi in April 2018, which is an initiative to catalyse the development of fintech industry in the kingdom.