Saudi fintechs lead sector in MENA

According to a report by the US-Saudi Business Council, Saudi Arabia’s fintech sector has seen significant growth, with a nearly 79% YoY increase in the number of operating fintech firms through August 2022. The kingdom now has 147 active fintech businesses, compared to just 10 in 2018, and received SAR 1.5 billion ($402.2 million) in total investments between September 2021 and August 2022. The report attributed this rapid expansion to liberalized business regulations, an active investment environment, and well-developed technology infrastructure.

The council noted that fintech businesses accounted for the highest number of total investment deals in the first half of 2022. Saudi Arabia aims to increase the number of active fintech players to at least 230 businesses, accounting for 70% of non-cash transactions and boosting the sector’s GDP contribution to SAR 4.5 billion. By 2030, the fintech sector is expected to generate around 18,200 direct jobs and account for 525 active fintech companies.

“Fintech companies attracted investments from leading domestic and international firms such as Sequoia, 500 Global and Mastercard. Well-developed technology infrastructure such as the widely accessible 5G and cloud services, high domestic demand for financial services, and continued government support have all supported ongoing growth,” said Albara’a Alwazir, Director of Economic research at the US-Saudi Business Council.

The report highlights the high demand for a variety of financial services among Saudi residents, particularly in the areas of banking, insurance, investment, asset management, and Shariah-compliant financing. Additionally, a high level of smartphone penetration and a banked youth population have enabled a relatively rapid transition to the digital economy. A growing number of Saudi consumers have also embraced the use of card and electronic payments, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Pan Finance is a print journal and news website providing worldwide intelligence on finance, economics and global commerce. Known for our in-depth analysis and opinion pieces from esteemed academics and celebrated professionals; our readership consists of senior decision makers from across the globe.

Contact us