Over the last 12 months, the fintech industry in Saudi Arabia has continued to grow at a rapid pace as stated in the recent Fintech Saudi Annual Report 2020/2021. The number of Saudi fintech companies operating in the Kingdom rose dramatically by 37% with an investment amount exceeding SAR 1.3billion ($347million).
“During 2020 / 2021 we have seen the development of a maturing fintech industry in the Kingdom,” said Nejoud Almulaik, director of Fintech Saudi. “As we emerge from the challenges of covid-19, it is clear that the digitalisation experienced during the pandemic is here to stay”. Almulaik extended gratitude to the regulatory authorities, emphasising that “regulation clarity is attracting more investment in the sector and driving the growth of the fintech industry.”
The report clarified that over the last year, new fintech companies have emerged in a variety of areas including payments, capital markets, insurance and business tools for SMEs. There has also been a number of regulatory and infrastructure developments including the release of new fintech activity regulations, the launch of SARIE -the Instant Payment System- and the Council of Ministers approval to license two local digital banks: STC Bank and Saudi Digital Bank.
Fintech Saudi has continued to support the development of the fintech industry through a number of initiatives including the Fintech Accelerator, Fintech Career Fair, the National Youth Art Competition and the organisation of the first ever National Fintech Adoption Survey.
Moreover, the report anticipated the year 2021/2022 to be another significant period for the fintech industry. The continued support from venture investors, new regulations, national fintech initiatives and the launch of Open Banking are expected to support the development of a new generation of fintech solutions in Saudi Arabia.
The Fintech Saudi Annual Report consists of a number of sections including an overview of Open Banking in Saudi Arabia, in-depth analysis into talent and venture capital in Saudi Arabia.