Wasim Alnahlawi - stock.adobe.co
Mastercard and Fintech Saudi have signed an agreement which could boost a core part of the Gulf state’s high-tech vision of the future.
Nezar A Alhaidar, managing director at Fintech Saudi, said MasterCard’s massive payments network will provide its fintechs with a scale of resources not available within Saudi Arabia.
Fintech Saudi, launched by the Saudi Central Bank and the Capital Market Authority, aims to support 525 fintech startups in the Kingdom by 2030.
“We can help fintech companies to develop innovative payment methods and digital services that enhance the rapidly expanding sector in the Kingdom by utilising Mastercard’s knowledge and network,” said Alhaidar following the announced partnership with Mastercard. A key part of the agreement includes empowering homegrown and Saudi-based entities to go to market faster.
Through its Vision 2030 programme, Saudi Arabia is currently reinventing itself as a nation with a diverse economy.
Vision 2030 was introduced in 2016 with the aim of moving Saudi Arabia away from being an oil-based economy. To this end, it supports small to medium-sized enterprises and entrepreneurs, and aims to develop human capital, improve financial inclusion, and even create a cashless society. If achieved, these will as boost sectors across the Saudi Arabian economy and will lay the foundations for a thriving fintech ecosystem.
Adam Jones, country general manager in the Middle East at Mastercard, said: “Saudi Arabia is becoming a global hub of tech and SME innovation, with Vision 2030 and the Kingdom’s commitment to developing a cashless economy serving as the foundation of this success.”
“Our partnership with Fintech Saudi aligns with this goal and will enable us to better support new and established startups by delivering secure, innovative and diverse payment solutions and digital services,” added Jones. Fintech Saudi already has partnerships with global tech and finance firms, including Accenture, Visa and Amazon Web Services.
In 2018, speaking at London Fintech Week, Omar Rebhan, head of UK office at Saudi Arabian general Investment Authority (SAGIA), said the Fintech Saudi initiative from the country’s monetary agency to supports the development of financial services technology industry in Saudi Arabia.
He said: “Within the coming years, the aim is to turn Saudi Arabia into an innovative fintech hub by enabling all the aspects of the ecosystem. This includes creating a culture of collaboration, building a broad understanding of fintech in the community and supporting fintech entrepreneurship.”
Read more about tech in Saudi Arabia
- As Saudi Arabia undergoes an economic transformation, new mandates are being implemented to help nationals keep up with global talent requirements.
- Saudi Arabian CIOs have been forced to increase their security posture as the Covid-19 pandemic transforms working methods.
- Organisations in Saudi Arabia are using cloud computing services to help them navigate challenges caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
- With its young and educated population, Saudi Arabia has the potential to become a hub for tech innovation.