Payfort and Wamda SOF pre launch

PAYFORT and Wamda to lift the lid on MENA’s emerging Fintech sector

March 1, 2017

“State of Fintech” report to identify key trends, facts and figures for the fast growing Fintech industry; aims to inform the entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, financial sector and large corporations

PAYFORT, the leading online payment service provider in the Arab world, and Wamda, a leading entrepreneurship platform in MENA, have announced a collaboration to publish the first Fintech (financial technology) research report on the Middle East and North Africa. To be published later this month, the “State of Fintech” report will offer up-to-date data and insights on one the region’s fastest growing startup sectors and will answer important questions about the opportunities and challenges facing the region’s home-grown Fintech industry.

“Financial services and traditional banking are being challenged by very innovative digital technology startups, offering simple, accessible and lower cost mobile solutions. The industry is changing fast, this research highlights trends in the Arab region continuing the work we do at Wamda in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem said Fadi Ghandour, Chairman of Wamda.

“Unknown to many, Fintech startups in MENA now employ between one and two thousand professionals, which – for an industry that almost didn’t exist half a decade ago – is impressive,” said Omar Soudodi, Managing Director of PAYFORT. “Our partnership with Wamda, aims to lift the lid on the region’s Fintech industry and offer insight to those working with the sector or interested in investing in Fintech ventures, plus the government policy makers that can help influence and encourage growth within this promising sector.”

State of Fintech will address topics of relevance to entrepreneurs, investors, policymakers, large corporations, the financial sector and the general public. It aims to identify the key drivers and barriers for the new Fintech industry in the region, offer insights on what solutions Fintech startups are providing and what investors and policymakers need to consider now in order to unleash Fintech’s potential.
Ecommerce is set to quadruple in the next 5 years and, with Fintech playing an integral role in this growth, it is forecasted that it will gross $20 billion by 2020. The region has seen a sharp rise in Fintech investments from 2015 to 2016 – a 43 percent in terms of deal flow and an almost 100 percent increase in deal size. However, this fast growth of the Fintech sector poses many questions for investors, banks, financial services firms and government policymakers regarding the future of Fintech startups in the region and their place in the financial ecosystem.

Wamda is a platform of integrated programmes that aims to accelerate entrepreneurship ecosystems throughout the MENA region. Its core focus includes media, community development, research and corporate and government advisory services. In the past few years, Wamda has become the leading grassroots community and knowledge platform for entrepreneurs and supporting stakeholders in the region.

The Wamda Research Lab (WRL) is Wamda’s research program that produces studies on entrepreneurship in MENA and seeks to foster thought leadership in this field. WRL’s agenda is to inform investors, policymakers, and other stakeholders on the challenges faced by entrepreneurs in the MENA region, and offer potential solutions for overcoming them.

PAYFORT offers a complete suite of safe and secure e-payment solutions that can cater to any small to medium enterprise (SME) or startup’s e-payment needs. PAYFORT utilises a secure payment network that is built using the most sophisticated and up-to-date fraud prevention and anti-money laundering technologies, all while providing complete flexibility in offering online payments. In addition to providing unrivaled security, PAYFORT removes much of the hassle of e-payment implementation as all transactional communications are carried out by PAYFORT.

The State of Fintech report will consist of six sections, including case studies and recommendations for the future development of the Fintech ecosystem. The report will share findings from research into MENA Fintech startups, opinion surveys of bank customers and interviews with industry leaders and subject matter experts.

Once published, PAYFORT and Wamda intend to make the State of Fintech report publically available for download under a Creative Commons license.

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