Startups discuss innovative financial ideas for accelerator programme
Nayef Tawfiq Al Alawi, CEO of Eazy, speaks with participants of the DIFC Fintech hive speed dating session.
A personal finance application that helps people understand their spending so that they can make better decisions and reach their financial goals, and the first world biometric payment network are among the innovative financial ideas for startups shortlisted for the Fintech Accelerator Programme 2019.
On Thursday, Finablr hosted 15 of the best-in-class fintech startups at its global headquarters in Abu Dhabi for a 'Speed Dating' event in partnership with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) Fintech Hive, the leading fintech accelerator program in the Mena region; 31 startups from across the world including start-ups from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North Africa had been shortlisted for this year's programme. Teams from across the Finablr Network brands interacted and collaborated with these innovative startups as the represenatives pitched their business ideas.
Rahul Pai, group chief financial officer, Finablr said: "If you look at how the financial services industry is revolving, it's becoming very specialised. This is primarily driven by newer smaller players - the startups. At Finablr have always been collaborating with startups."
He noted that Finablr has been partnering with DIFC Fintech for the past three years because they filter and choose the best startups in the region.
"This makes perfect sense for us because we get the best startups, speak and collaborate with them, and expand their innovative products and ideas in the financial industry. This partnership is very crucial and the right kind of mix because when DIFC brings such startups to us, they get the chance to partner with a global player to further expand their business."
Pai says Finablr will mentor any number of the startups if they have good business cases related to their financial business. Over the next couple of months, Finablr teams will mentor and support selected start-ups in the next steps of their entrepreneurial journeys.
Saeeid Hejazi, founder and CEO of Wally Personal Finance Application, said: "I am excited to be presenting our product for the FinTech Accelerator Programme. Wally brings your financial life together so you can get smarter about your finances, plan easier, be more organised, and stay in sync with the people that matter. The mobile app essentially helps ordinary people in breaking down their spending tight from the transaction date and make them understand, for instance how much is going into food, entertainment and household spending. With that information, they can set their budget and control it. Wally can help people determine how much they can save after their monthly expenses have been reduced."
He also explained that the free app by the American firm, which is soon shifting to Dubai, and can be downloaded online, was designed to be quick and efficient and can be used on a day today basis. The financial app so far has two million users.
Eazy Financial Services, a Bahrain based startup business, is the first of it kind biometric payment network facilitating transactions based on biometric. The firm offers biometric technologies and innovative solutions to the banking and financial services industries by bringing a new era of secured and convenient transaction experience.
Nayef Tawfiq, MD and CEO of Eazy Financial Services, represented the firm at the Speed Dating Event, and told Khaleej Times that with their biometric payment service, the person's finger prints is his identity and acts exactly like a card.
"With the biometric payment, you don't need to carry cards for payments, remittance and other transactions. Your finger prints act exactly like a card," said Tawfiq adding that since launching the service at a bank in Bahran, the service has 7,000 active users and have processed Dh25 million.
He said that by the end of this year, another eight banks in Bahrain will join the biometric service and currently, the startup firm is in talks with banks in Dubai and big retailers to collaborate with them in using the service.
According to Tawfiq, through their state of the art Biometric platform, they empower clients with a unique transaction experience by enabling biometric transactions for cash withdrawals, in-store payments, in-branch customer experience, identification services, merchant loyalty programs, and others.
The FinTech Accelerator Programme offers the most innovative of startups mentoring, workshops, funding opportunities, industry insights, marketing exposure and more.
During this dynamic 12-week programme, the startups can test and develop their solutions under the mentorship of leading banking and insurance institutions. During the first phase of the programme they get the chance to pitch their business to financial institution and insurance partners located in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and Jordan.