With its population becoming younger and increasingly tech savvy, the Middle East is experiencing a rapid surge in its financial technology market.
Along with growing preference for making payments and managing their finances on mobile devices, the continued commitment of Middle Eastern government authorities, including central banks and regulators, has also been vital in boosting the sector. The forward-thinking from these institutions have been instrumental in facilitating the establishment of vital infrastructure, such as accelerators, incubators, and fintech hubs, for fintech innovation to flourish.
And so far, the proof has been in the pudding. While global fintech activity and valuations have been in a downturn of sorts, investment rounds in the Middle East fintech sector reveal a resounding positive trend for the region. According to a recent report published by red_mad_robot, fintech startups in the region have secured as much as US$2 billion in fintech funding via 140-160 deals in just the last three years (2021-2023).
Expectedly, fintech companies with a global mindset such as digital bank Black Banx are starting to focus on the region. Already a major market within the overall world economy, the Middle East’s continued adoption of digital banking innovations has it positioned to also be a major hub in the global fintech market.
Key emerging trends
As fintech in the Middle East remains robust, a number of key trends are expected to keep playing out and continue to sustain the sector’s ascension.
Cross-border payments will remain in high demand
The Middle East is home to a large and diverse foreign workforce, which continues to drive the significant demand for cross-border payments and remittances in the region.
It is these needs which Black Banx aims to meet as most domestic fintechs have yet to be able to offer borderless banking options that enable customers to make transactions to or from almost any location at little or no cost.
Offering private and business accounts in 28 FIAT currencies and 2 crypto currencies, Black Banx equips customers with the means to not only transact digitally across the Middle East, but also be part of the overall global economy.
Digital Transformation of SMEs and Merchants
The digital transformation of banking in the Middle East, while fueled by private customers, are not just limited to those individual users. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) and merchants are going through a similar digitalization, harnessing fintech platforms to streamline operations and access vital capital.
In a similar manner with private customers, Black Banx’s continued expansion into the Middle East broadens this digitalization by enabling SMEs to take their transactions beyond the region’s borders.
By way of Black Banx’s borderless banking services, businesses in the Middle East are able to access a global market. Whether it is to source supplies in America, employ remote talent in Asia, or extend their products and services to the rest of the world, Black Banx offers the means to send and receive payments promptly and securely.
Advent of Virtual Assets
Along with its increasing use of fintech, the Middle East is also seemingly on the brink of embracing virtual assets, with DeFi (Decentralised Finance) and CBDCs (Central Bank Digital Currencies) furthering this relatively new era of financial innovation in the region.
Upon entry into the Middle East, Black Banx for its part, offers customers in the region additional virtual asset options. Along with offering crypto currency as a deposit method, the company also offers fully fledged crypto currency trading with BTC and ETH as crypto currency.
Offering our clients autonomy by connecting a fully fledged banking platform with the features of a crypto exchange, Black Banx’s cryptocurrency proposition is among the more unique ones in the industry, as it enables clients to use their crypto balance to pay third parties directly.
It is indeed evident that the Middle East fintech industry is poised for continued growth and innovation. While mainly driven by customer demand and complemented with government support, the presence of neobanks such as Black Banx are also vital in ensuring the aforementioned demand of customers are satisfied and they continue to have banking options that keep up with emerging technologies.
About Black Banx
Black Banx was established in 2014 by German billionaire and CEO Michael Gastauer and launched as a platform to the public in 2015. The company presently employs 4,300 people with offices on four continents, and as of the first half of 2023 serves upward of 28 million customers.
Black Banx provides digital banking solutions to private individuals, institutional and corporate clients worldwide, offering the entire account opening process online, in real time for Private and Business clients from 180 countries. Black Banx protects customers’ funds with industry leading security tools and a global diversification concept. Leading companies and institutions in more than 180 countries rely on Black Banx’s financial resources, expertise and infrastructure to help them grow their businesses, manage their payments and invest for the future.