The Fintech Megathon 2021 was launched in the United Arab Emirates under the patronage of His Excellency Abdullah bin Touq Al Marri, Minister of Economy (MoE) and Chairman of the Board of the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA). The first-of-a-kind nationwide megathon aimed at furthering the development of the fintech industry by bringing together a large array of startups specialised in financial services technology.
Powered by Fintech Galaxy’s FinX22 platform, the megathon will run until February 2022 on two sprints and will include workshops and training sessions, plus two hackathons to showcase innovations that help better address challenges.
The Fintech Megathon 2021 is centred on finding innovative technical solutions to the challenges facing the services sector under eight thematic areas, namely asset management/investment advisory, digital assets/cryptocurrencies, crowdfunding, forex (trading of foreign currencies), e-KYC form, SME financing, financial inclusion, and suptech and regtech.
Held under the slogan “Reimagining the Future of Inclusive Financial Services”, the megathon encourages innovators, financial institutions, regulators, and other ecosystem partners across the UAE to collaborate and crowdsource to produce prototypes with the aim of addressing specific problems hindering the financial services industry. Taking part in the megathon as strategic partners are prominent institutions from the UAE, such as the Abu Dhabi Securities Exchange (ADX), the First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), EMAAR, and the United Arab Bank (UAB).
Commenting on the launch of the megathon, H.E. Al Marri said: “Organised by SCA, programs and events such as the Fintech Megathon 2021 help foster the innovation environment in the country, promote coordination among public and private institutions, encourage startups to be actively engaged in the development of innovative solutions to the challenges we encounter in carrying our tasks, ensure the optimal utilisation of modern technology, and create new opportunities for growth,” explaining that “such initiatives complement the MoE’s ongoing efforts to enhance the competitiveness of the national economy and satisfy sustainable development requirements.”
“SCA’s initiatives are centred on establishing concepts and methodologies related to investing in technology and infrastructure, which serve network and information security, in addition to implementing a comprehensive digital strategy and using advanced technological solutions, particularly fintech and blockchain. SCA introduced another package of initiatives that will help our financial markets gain an advantage over their global counterparts,” He added.
For her part, H.E. Dr. Maryam Al Suwaidi, Acting CEO of SCA, said: “With a strategic mission to safeguard the rights of investors, promote sound practices, and create an environment attractive to capital using innovative systems, SCA was very excited to announce the launch of the Fintech Megathon 2021. Fintech has become an integral part of the financial services industry today. It is highly important that we leverage the efficiencies technology can provide us to address the pain points faced by customers across the financial services industry in the UAE.
“Innovation is no longer a luxury. More than ever before, we need to encourage the spirit of innovation; create an environment conducive to innovation; and establish research, investigative, and exploratory methodologies as the right path to follow to develop and upgrade our financial markets to advanced market status. Undoubtedly, a technology-enhanced financial ecosystem is critical in mitigating the economic impacts of the pandemic and ensuring quick economic recovery. SCA realises the importance of digital financial systems in strengthening the capability of markets, businesses, governments, institutions, and communities to withstand future shocks and is proud to introduce an initiative that can bring us closer to achieving this end,” Dr. Al Suwaidi added.
Speaking about the launch of the megathon, Mirna Sleiman, Founder and CEO of Fintech Galaxy, said: “We are very excited to be part of this collaborative and creative initiative that aims to address some of the key challenges facing the industry at present. Our expertise and widespread network across the Arab fintech industry enable us to bring together fintech startups, financial institutions, partners (accelerators), and stakeholders from local fintech working groups with a common goal in mind, which is to adopt fintech innovations for better livelihoods, new business opportunities, and the overall development of the UAE financial services industry.”
The SCA Fintech Megathon 2021, hosted on Fintech Galaxy’s FinX22 platform, will run in two sprints. The first hackathon will kick off in May 2021 and the second hackathon will kick off in December 2021. The FinX22 platform will enable screening, interaction, and collaboration among innovators and financial institutions, allowing them to crowdsource and prototype fintech solutions prospectively in Fintech Galaxy’s API Sandbox. It will promote partnerships and collaboration between established and startup fintech firms as well as leading banks from across the UAE.