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FinTechs and banks unite for innovation at the Dubai FinTech Summit Dialogues DIFC

The DIFC-led dialogue hosted ten bank and FinTech heads for discussions on current financial stability and prospects

Dubai, United Arab Emirates, 11 April 2023: Dubai International Finance Center (DIFC), a leading international financial center in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region is hosting its second Dialogue Dubai FinTech Summit (DFS) this week, supported by the Innovation Center. The heads of 10 leading regional and FinTech banks were invited to unveil the challenges facing the financial sector and discuss how the industry can eliminate risk and build resilient and sustainable financial institutions.

Based on recent research by Report OceanThe global FinTech Lending Market is valued at approximately USD 573.05 billion in 2021 and is expected to grow at a healthy growth rate of over 27.4% over the forecast period 2022-2029.

Organizing a round table Mohammad AlBlooshi, Head of DIFC Innovation Center and Hive FinTech, said, “As an industry that is based on faith and trust, we currently see the banking sector experiencing a period of disruption. Given global barriers, we have an opportunity to build a more resilient institution through collaboration between banks and FinTechs.”

Commenting on the session, he added, “Through organizers such as this roundtable and the first Dubai FinTech Summit in May, we are facilitating dialogue and avenues of collaboration for long-standing financial institutions, regulators and promising entrepreneurs to jointly chart how the sector can – and must – move forward.”

Age of Banks vs. FinTech is gone

The FinTech sector, which is widely recognized as a major competitor to banks, is expected to double from USD 135.9 billion in 2021 to USD 266.9 billion in 2027, according to DIFC FinTech Hive’s FinTech Report 2022. Other than that, with more or less 50 percent of the MENA region currently unbanked or underbanked, FinTech has played a critical role in driving inclusive economic growth in the region.

However, the unanimous decision-making of all banks in the DFS Dialogue captures how the two entities are actually in symbiosis.

Sanjay Sethi, Senior Managing Director, Head of Global Transaction Banking at First Abu Dhabi Bank, said, “This is an era of collaboration and co-creation where leading financial institutions and FinTech pioneers can embark on a journey of innovative discovery together. This is especially true when we see opportunities to expand into new geographies, increase product capabilities, increase revenue, or scale or optimize our business faster and more efficiently. At the same time, FinTech solutions in banking transactions are getting more agile day by day. As we look to the future, FAB will continue to collaborate with FinTech pioneers to deliver impactful advances across the financial industry.”

Earlier this year, the Central Bank of the UAE announced the implementation of the Digital Dirham digital currency strategy, which promises to be a significant step in the country’s payment industry, something that will greatly impact banks, FinTechs, businesses and customers. “As such, synergies between banks and FinTechs prove unavoidable as the industry moves ever closer towards a cashless economy,” added AlBlooshi.

Technology: Disrupt and increase trust

“As a provider of FinTech services, the bottom line, like any technology player, is to build an emotional connection with the end consumer,” said Raman Thiagarajan, CEO and Founder, Zenda.

As customers turn to technology, banks are forced to adapt traditional trust building to complement banking digitization. Anand Krishnan, Head of Technology, Emirates Investment Banksaid, “It is increasingly important for banks to continue to invest more in technology that not only builds but maintains trust in customers throughout their journey.”

Google predicts that the financial services and banking industry will emerge as major spenders for AI technology in MENA. The industry will almost recover 25 percent of all AI investment in the regionbanking technology alone is expected to contribute 13.6 percent to the region’s gross domestic product by 2030.

Mehdi Tazi, Chief Operating Officer, Lean Technologies, stated, “I believe customers still trust banks more than FinTech – they are the bigger, more established institutions. However, something that FinTech does really well is streamlining processes when helping customers get into these larger banks. As a result, we are seeing a marriage between FinTech and banking that enhances the customer journey, which ultimately builds trust.”

The advent of Web 3.0 ushered in a transformative moment for financial services, capital markets and banking, changing customer expectations and revolutionizing the sector. The total value of embedded financial transactions is said to reach USD 7 trillion by 2026in accordance Rakesh Reddy, CEO, Cloud4u“This is especially useful for Platform as a Service (PaaS) providers who will greatly benefit from this growth, undeniably becoming a major industry disruptor.”

Nilay Singh, Chief Executive Officer, State Bank of India, DIFC, pointed out, “We cannot ignore AI. It has to be adopted but cleverly and effectively, and this is where we need to understand what to outsource and when to collaborate.

Dubai is primed for continued growth and innovation, so how can policy makers, entrepreneurs and investors come together to forge ahead during these turbulent times? With a unified aim to scale up inclusive and stable banking solutions for the region, traditional financial institutions are increasingly optimistic about developing their partnerships with promising FinTechs to help bridge the gap and strategically stay ahead of the curve. Join the dialogue at the Dubai FinTech Summit at Madinat Jumeirah in Dubai. Visitors can now purchase ticket with early bird prices available until 15 April 2023.


About Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) is one of the most advanced financial centers in the world, and a leading financial center for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), consisting of 72 countries with an estimated population of 3 billion and an estimated GDP of USD 8 trillion .

With a nearly 20 year track record of facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, the Center connects this fast-growing market to Asian, European and American economies via Dubai.

DIFC is home to an internationally recognized independent regulator and a proven justice system within the UK common law framework, as well as the largest financial ecosystem in the region with over 36,000 working professionals in over 4,300 active registered companies – forming the largest and most diverse pool industrial talent in the region.

The Center’s vision is to drive the future of finance through cutting-edge technology, innovation and partnerships. Today, it is the future global finance and innovation hub offering one of the most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments in the region, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulation, innovative accelerator programs, and early-stage growth funding. -UPS.

Comprised of world-renowned retail and dining, vibrant arts and culture venues, residential apartments, hotels and public spaces, DIFC continues to be one of the most sought-after business and lifestyle destinations in Dubai.

For more information, please visit our website:, or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @DIFC.

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