Fintech Investments in Saudi Arabia Surge to $347M During Past Year: Report

During the past year, the Fintech sector in Saudi Arabia has experienced steady growth. This, according to the Fintech Saudi Annual Report for 2020/2021.

The number of Saudi Arabia-based Fintechs increased by 37% with an investment amount surpassing SAR 1.3 billion (appr. $347 million).

Nejoud Almulaik, director of Fintech Saudi, stated:

“During 2020 / 2021 we have seen the development of a maturing fintech industry in the Kingdom. As we emerge from the challenges of COVID-19, it is clear that the digitalization experienced during the pandemic is here to stay.”

Almulaik acknowledged the efforts of regulatory authorities, while pointing out that “regulation clarity is attracting more investment in the sector and driving the growth of the fintech industry.”

The report also noted that in the past year, new Fintech firms have emerged in key areas such as payments, capital markets, insurance and business tools for SMEs.

There has also been considerable regulatory and infrastructure developments which includes the introduction of Fintech-related regulatory guidelines, the launch of SARIE -the Instant Payment System- and the Council of Ministers approval to provide operational licenses to virtual banks: STC Bank and Saudi Digital Bank.

Fintech Saudi says it has continued to offer support to the ongoing development of the local Fintech sector via several different initiatives such as the Fintech Accelerator, Fintech Career Fair, the National Youth Art Competition and the organization of the National Fintech Adoption Survey.

The report also mentioned that the year 2021/2022 should be yet another key period for the Fintech ecosystem. The steady support from established investors, updated regulatory frameworks, and the national Fintech initiatives as well as the introduction of Open Banking are going to promote the development of a new generation of Fintech solutions.

The Fintech Saudi Annual Report includes several key sections such as an overview of Open Banking in the Middle Eastern country along with an extensive analysis of the talent and venture capital available in the Kingdom.

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