Network International, a payments solutions company based in the United Arab Emirates, is reportedly in advanced talks to purchase the payment business of UAE lender Mashreqbank. The deal could value Mashreq’s payment operation at around $700 million, according to recent reports.
This acquisition comes at a time when the digital banking sector is poised for growth in the Middle East, similar to the way it took off in Europe and the United States. In recent years, the UAE and Saudi Arabia have seen a number of digital bank launches and announcements, including YAP, Wio, and STC Bank, signaling the arrival of digital banks in the Gulf region.
Mashreqbank also launched a nonbanking business services platform, Mashreq Business Banking Value Added Services, targeting small- to medium-sized businesses and providing access to various FinTechs, startups and service providers for things like human resources, office space, and cloud storage.
The purchase of Mashreqbank’s payment business could provide Network International with a key asset to expand its presence in the region, as digital banking continues to grow and evolve in the Middle East. The region is one of the most active FinTech markets in the Middle East and North Africa, and with the proximity between UAE and Saudi Arabia, there are many opportunities for neobanks to partner and collaborate.
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