Financial technology (FinTech) has created a revolution in the delivery of traditional financial services, reshaping the financial landscape, as innovative technologies are increasingly meeting customer demands for ease, speed, inclusiveness, and affordability.
Today, FinTech startups offer a wide range of financial services including digital payment solutions, money transfer, crowdfunding, P2P lending, as well as wealth management and insurance (insurtech), and they have succeeded in creating demand for these innovative digital products both globally and regionally; a phenomenon which has cast a shadow over the future of traditional financial services. Moreover, the use of blockchain technology has enabled the rapid ascent of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin into public discourse.
In the past few years, FinTech has emerged as one of the main disruptors of the once-traditional banking industry. Innovative banking services that offer increased efficiency and lower costs have helped propel the rise of FinTech in a global industry that has amassed over $250 billion in investments over the period 2012 – Q2 2018. A backdrop of smartphone proliferation, technology-reliant consumers, and low levels of financial inclusion have also paved the way for the growth and popularity of FinTech products and services, particularly in the Arab region.
Therefore, many banks and financial institutions are seeking to introduce vital changes in their business models by expanding their investment in technology and engaging in partnerships with FinTech startups to foster and enhance the digitization of financial services, and improve their own competitiveness.
Consequently, regulators are facing a trade-off between the contending goals of mitigating financial stability risks and facilitating financial innovation, as over-regulation might disincentivise the development of FinTech solutions. Hence, the need arises for a comprehensive legislative, regulatory and supervisory framework which fosters innovation and provides opportunities for the growth of FinTech business models in a competitive environment, while ensuring that new technologies do not become tools for fraud, money laundering and terrorist financing, and that they do not jeopardize long-sought financial, economic, and social stability. This balanced approach of effective oversight and supervision can expand the scale, scope and reach of financial services, while safeguarding consumer protection and financial stability without deterring innovations in financial services, especially those aimed at financial inclusion.
In this context, the forum will discuss the future of traditional financial services in light of thriving FinTech innovations by shedding light on recent developments in the FinTech sector, the factors fueling its growth in the Arab region, and its crucial role in promoting financial inclusion, through exploring FinTech business models, products, and services as well as examining FinTech startups and their interconnected relationships with other banks and financial institutions.
Moreover, the forum will relay the experiences of successful FinTech startups in the region, and highlight the role of governments, central banks, and regulatory and supervisory authorities in safeguarding economic and financial stability by regulating FinTech business activities and mitigating any subsequent systemic or idiosyncratic risk that may arise from the upsurge of financial technology.
TOPICS OF DISCUSSION
Developments and innovations in financial technology: Payments, lending, insurance, wealth and investment management
FinTech startups, incubators, and accelerators: success stories
The role of governments in supporting financial technology and digital transformation
Financial technology as a new mechanism to promote financial inclusion and support small and medium enterprises (SMEs)
The role of central banks: regulatory and supervisory challenges in managing FinTech risks
Financial technology and the future of traditional financial institutions
Arab and Foreign Central Banks
Arab and Foreign Banks
Supervisory and Regulatory Authorities
Regional and International Financial Institutions
Compliance and Risk Units in Banks & Financial Institutions
Insurance Companies and Investment Firms
FinTech Startups (Success Stories)
Business Incubators and Accelerators
Payment and Credit Card Companies (Visa or MasterCard)
Mobile Network Operators
STRUCTURE OF THE FORUM
Working papers and panel discussions presented and moderated by senior bankers and professionals in FinTech
Real life case studies related to FinTech Innovations and the Future of Banking Services
An exhibition for sponsoring institutions where by the participating institutions and companies would be able to establish and develop business ties.
PARTICIPATING IN THE FORUM
By attending this forum and benefiting from the valuable discussions brought by internationally renowned speakers, and meeting fellow peers from the regional and international fronts
By sponsoring the activities of the forum and benefiting from the wide range of privileges (marketing, branding, media recognition, etc…)