Five Reasons It's The Right Time To Tap Into The Middle East Fintech Industry Due to the constant technological development, businesses cannot afford to ignore the growing fintech industry anymore.

By Tasnim Nazeer

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There are unprecedented opportunities to tap into the increasingly growing sector of fintech in the Middle East. It has been estimated that the global fintech market in Q1 2017 saw a total investment of US$3.2 billion across 260 deals, according to the Q1 2017 edition of The Pulse of Fintech, KPMG International's quarterly report on fintech investment. This shows staggering promise for the future of the industry with many fintech startups setting up across the MENA region.

Fintech is simply an abbreviation for "financial technology" that looks to improve financial services for businesses and consumers by using innovative technology. The emergence of such technologies has seen the evolution of blockchain as well as the use of mobile technology, which both can help create seamless internal processes in financial institutions across the Middle East and around the world. Here are the top five reasons why you should consider tapping into the fintech industry:

1. Growing opportunities can drive growth for your business

Whether you are developing a startup in fintech or already have an existing business, the time has never been more ripe to tap into these growing opportunities. Many international companies, such as Uber, have invested $250 million to expand their offerings in the Middle East by utilizing fintech. In addition, Mastercard has also been reported to have partnered with Tunisian Post to launch a new digital financial service in Tunisia. Tapping into advanced technology that can make transactions easier and help you make more profits not only within the Middle East but also around the world, will keep you ahead of the competition.

2. Fintech can give you the competitive edge

Due to the constant technological development, businesses cannot afford to ignore the growing fintech industry anymore. They need to implement digital and mobile technologies to create easy digital payment systems. In a flourishing digital age when many people are turning online and using online banking more vigorously, companies need to stay ahead of the game by developing innovative offerings that cater for the needs of a new section of customers, wishing to utilize fintech technology when doing business.

3. The Middle East is positioning itself as a fintech hub

If you run a business from the Middle East, you may be aware of the fact that the UAE is positioning itself as a hub for fintech with Bahrain and Abu Dhabi already developing innovative start-up initiatives to help diversify the economy. David Parker, Executive Director of Financial Services at the Bahrain Economic Development Board stated that, "Technological advancements are impacting all established sectors -for example, Fintech is changing the way we operate in financial services and the "Internet of Things' is shaping our manufacturing industries". With this development in mind, the Middle East is seeing the benefits of the industry with a way to develop systems that can transform the delivery of financial services in a thriving and lucrative region of the world.

4. Contribute to the wider financial landscape

Government-driven initiatives in the Middle East have created a landscape for a growing hub of fintech startups, incubators and accelerators. Regional and global financial institutions are developing digital platforms and smart solutions to cater for the growing demand for fintech. One such initiative is the Emirates Digital Wallet, which is scheduled to launch within the next few months and is a milestone in the UAE's push towards a digital financial revolution. Investing in fintech enables you to contribute to the wider financial landscape and eventually open more opportunities for global growth of your company or startup.

5. Spearhead innovative solutions for the next generation

The constant innovation will bring a continues digital transformation in the way we make payments and utilize fintech. There have already been many dedicated digital incubation centres in the Middle East catering for such innovative initiatives. By starting the process and getting involved in creating solutions that cater for the upcoming generation, you can play a significant role in spearheading growth and catering for a digitally savvy population.

Related: How Fintech Is Changing The World (And How Blockchain Is A Part Of This)

Tasnim Nazeer

Journalist, author, and UN Universal Peace Federation Ambassador.

Tasnim Nazeer is an award-winning journalist, author, and UN Universal Peace Federation Ambassador. She has written for The Huffington Post, CNN, BBC, and others. She was awarded the Ibn Battuta Award for Excellence in Media in 2013 for writing on a range of topics from business and entrepreneurship to human rights and world news.

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