UAE committed to drive fintech innovation

 

UAE committed to drive fintech innovation
Fintech has entered the popular consciousness in a big way this year due to developments in mobile payment technology, and the introduction of Blockchain technology.

Dubai - Developments in mobile payment technology and the introduction of blockchain technology have ignited public interest in fintech

by

Issac John

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Published: Tue 12 Dec 2017, 4:29 PM

Last updated: Wed 13 Dec 2017, 9:44 AM

Developments in mobile payment technology and the introduction of blockchain technology in the UAE have ignited the public interest in fintech, the UAE Ministry of Finance said on Tuesday.
Younis Al Khouri, Undersecretary of the Ministry of Finance, said that the ministry has been committed, and would pursue its commitment to support and explore ways to increase innovation within government and finance more broadly.
Speaking at an event to announce the ministry's joining of forces with Finovate MiddleEast, a global fintech conference series, Al Khouri said the ministry has hosted regular fintech seminars to help showcase modern technologies and their impact across the sector. "The ministrycontinues to be a key player in helping to foster the investment environment in the UAE for tech entrepreneurs through the Mohammed bin Rashid Innovation Fund that is worth Dh2 billion."
He said the strategic partnership with Finovate MiddleEast would help drive innovation, growth and investment in financial, banking and payments technology in the Middle East. "We at the UAE Ministry of Finance have been committed, and will pursue our commitment to support and explore ways to increase innovation within government and finance more broadly," he said.
"We have seen Fintech enter the popular consciousness in a big way this year due to developments in mobile payment technology, and the introduction of blockchain technology that have ignited the public interest and pushed the sector's growth," said Al Khouri.
During the partnership announcement event, a panel discussion on 'Innovation versus Digital Disruption: Perspectives from Banks and Fintechs' featured speakers including Jagadeshwaran Kothandapani, managing director, Cash Management Head, MENAT, Treasury and Trade Solutions at Citi; Sara Grinstead, head of Innovation at RAKBank; and Michael Jesse, CEO and co-founder of RISQ.
The panel highlighted the need for collaboration and new partnerships to develop an effective Fintech ecosystem as well as embracing change, the latest payments technology and managing innovation risk.
In the Middle East and North Africa region, policymakers have Fintech on their radar, as is evidenced by a series of new regulatory measures that have been introduced in the region.
In the UAE, the Dubai International Financial Centre acts as a financial free zone that connects Mena markets with those in Europe, Asia and America. The Centre's financial technology accelerator - the Fintech Hive at DIFC - launched earlier this year and aims to leverage these networks to create a more enabling environment for the development of technology solutions to take the Middle East, Africa and South Asia region's financial services industry forward. And the DIFC's independent regulatory body, the Dubai Financial Services Authority, is currently rolling out a supervisory environment that promotes the advancement of Fintech in Dubai.
Finovate has established itself as the leading showcase for fintech innovation around the world, with five locations - New York, Silicon Valley, London, Hong Kong and Dubai.
Taking place from February 26-27, during the UAE Innovation Month and Dubai Innovation Week, Finovate Middle East will bring together early-stage startups, leading established companies, media, financial service institutions and funders drawn by the opportunity to see the future of fintech both regionally and globally.
Heather Stowell, vice president of the Finovate Group, said supporting fintech globally is the crux of Finovate. "We are excited to showcase the region's fintechs, as well as grow the dialogue and interest in fintech for the region and the UAE as a fintech hub. The support from and partnership with the UAE Ministry of Finance will undoubtedly help to raise awareness of the event and its mission."
- issacjohn@khaleejtimes.com



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