The fintech industry in the Kingdom is growing at a rapid rate. Between 2017 and 2019, the value of fintech transactions increased at a rate of over 18% each year, reaching over USD 20 billion in 2019. Saudi Arabia has recently announced that it seeks to triple the number of fintech firms in the kingdom by 2025. The country currently has 155 fintechs registered with Fintech Saudi. The fintech sector in Saudi Arabia is largely driven by young, first-generation entrepreneurs who are now competing with the largest financial institutions. Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 is “turbo-charging” the Kingdom’s thriving digital economy as it enters a high-growth stage in digital payments and e-commerce. This will increase the share of digital transactions in all financial dealings to 70% simultaneously.

Fintechs in Saudi are mostly supported by government sponsored programmes and entities. They are beginning to attract the attention of foreign venture capitalists with the Saudi government opening the market. Saudi fintech startups have raised $23 million over the last 5 years.

This vision will be achieved by allowing fintech firms to do business easily and by increasing the private sector’s contribution to the economy. To develop the digital economy, the kingdom will attract more foreign investment and support entrepreneurship as well as innovation for the growth of SMEs. The rise of fintech activity is also spurring regulatory change. Regulatory bodies in countries around the world are investigating and implementing banking policy modifications in order to attract established fintech players and encourage the growth of local fintech start-ups.

Fintech’s strict regulatory environment makes good corporate governance a necessity, and most companies understand the need to quickly add a compliance expert to their board. Compliance hurdles differ across industries, but fintech’s face growing and ever-changing regulatory scrutiny and are expected to establish and nurture an unwavering culture of compliance.

There is an active community of banks, universities, corporates, government agencies and investors working for the development of the fintech sector in Saudi Arabia. The close collaboration between incumbents and universities, academia, various incubators and accelerators has created a range of fruitful partnerships that will lead to a thriving fintech ecosystem and accelerate the pace of innovation and investment in Saudi fintech ecosystem.

Pearl Initiative aims to conduct a dipstick survey to understand the Fintech Landscape in KSA – the power of the network, the conducive ecosystem and the culture that enables growth of FinTechs. The Pearl Initiative is conducting a series of panel discussions titled, ‘Fintech in KSA, a Rising Star’ which includes two sessions for fintechs on 5th and 6th December 22 in KSA. The two topics covered are:

• Session 1 – ‘Building Fintech’s for the Region from the Region’.
• Session 2 – ‘Leveraging Corporate and Ecosystem Culture to Support Growth’.

These sessions aim to highlight key practices, trends, ecosystem providers and partnerships that augment the growth of fintechs in KSA. Participants will engage in:

1. Interactive discussions on the current landscape of fintech growth, including ecosystem players, regulatory bodies, resource availability
2. Role of culture within the organization and in the larger ecosystem to foster partnerships and fuel growth.

Venue: Riyadh, KSA

Date: 5th & 6th December 2022

Registration link: https://forms.gle/jevcnVTqLk6PcTXH9

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