Fintech enablement & development in the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) region has been evolving at an accelerating pace. While the spark of innovation may have ignited in one jurisdiction, various regulators in the GCC have been raising in the support & growth of the fintech sector.

Our expert fintech lawyers & market players will dive into the real and practical topics in various fintech categories in the region with focus on the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) & the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

Key Takeaways:

1. GCC Fintech – an overview. The discussion delves into the key differentiating factors which have resulted in such varied development paces between each GCC member country.

2. Growth driven by payments. The need for alternative payment mechanisms to legacy cross-border remittance methods also played a pivotal role in the fintech sector expansion. As needs continue to evolve, the focus remains on addressing the need for different payment means.

3. The cryptocurrency wave. Issuance & trade of cryptocurrencies also passed through the region driving developments in issuing and offering virtual currencies as well as exchange platforms.

4. NFTs. The growth of talent & arts created an opportunity to consider issuing and offering NFTs in the market. This has led to increased opportunities for new ways of obtaining recognition and compensation, all while fostering a dynamic digital art ecosystem.

5. The balance between target licenses & market consolidation. Each regulator in the region has certain targets that include the issuance of a certain number of licenses in the fintech sector. However, not all fintech initiatives have had the same success story despite the clear need in the market. This trend suggests a growing push towards the need for consolidation in the markets.

The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.