Financial Technology Set to Transform Financial Services in Saudi Arabia

Tuesday 19 April 2016

Doha - MENA Herald: The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s financial sector is likely to encounter significant disruption from new financial technologies in the coming years, but could emerge stronger and more streamlined, according to experts gathering for the Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference this May.
Financial technology – or “FinTech” – is generating huge opportunities for banks, investors and new start-up companies around the world, but is also generating a new range of risks for central banks and financial institutions.
Progress on implementing FinTech in the Kingdom has been relatively slow until recently, but new initiatives designed to enhance the business environment, reform regulatory support and provide access to capital are helping to create a positive ecosystem for FinTech deployment in Saudi Arabia.
In a special panel at the Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference, senior experts from within the Kingdom and leading international companies will discuss the growing influence and impact of FinTech on the financial sector.
Mamdooh Al Sedairy, Chief Information Officer of Tadawul, will bring his experience in implementing and managing one of the world’s most sophisticated trading systems for the Saudi Stock Exchange. In 2014, Tadawul and NASDAQ began a major project to replace the SAXESS trading platform with NASDAQ’s latest trading platform, X-stream INET Trading, which was launched in September 2015. The new platform is fastest recorded trading engine in the world.
He will be joined by Frans van Eersel, Founder and Chief‎ Executive Officer of dopay International, which provides a cloud-based payroll service that enables employers to calculate salaries and pay all employees - banked and unbanked - electronically.
“The financial service industry is reaching its ‘Uber moment’. The wide acceptance of smartphones, cloud-computing and technologies like blockchain are fundamentally changing the way financial services will be delivered. The disruptive nature of technology that we have already seen in so many industries is now reaching the financial service industry and is set to have a major impact. Banking as we know it today will never be the same again,” said Frans van Eersel.
The challenge to manage the issues that result from FinTech is an international one. In its global banking annual review, the consultancy firm McKinsey warned that banks face a “high-stakes struggle” to defend their business models against digital disruption.
It is estimated that some 20,000 FinTech start-ups and companies are operating in the global ecosystem, offering a range of services including online cash payments and securities trading, crowdfunding and peer-to-peer lending, blockchain and digital identities.
The panel discussion at The Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference will be one of the best opportunities to date to understand the progress made on this key issue and the new wave of initiatives in progress to boost the growth of the Kingdom’s ecosystem.
The 2016 Euromoney Saudi Arabia Conference is co-hosted with the Ministry of Finance and takes place on 3 and 4 May at the Al Faisaliah Hotel in Riyadh.

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