The Growing Fintech Revolution in Dubai

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February 3, 2020

Fintech or ‘financial technology’ is specialised software or modern technology that assists both companies and consumers in managing their everyday finances. 

Mobile banking apps like Monzo, Venmo and Zelle, Robo-Advisors, peer-to-peer lending services, crowdfunding campaigns and cryptocurrencies, are all examples of fintech innovations. 

Fintech describes a variety of automated financial activities, processes like money transfers, depositing a cheque with your smartphone, applying for credit without a bank, raising money for a business startup, or managing your wealth and investments without the assistance or need for a human.

Recently Dubai has seen a boom in its fintech industry. The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) saw a surge of fintech companies in the first six months of 2019 and was recently dubbed number eight amongst global financial powerhouses. 

We’re looking at what fintech is and how Dubai’s fintech revolution has made it a hub for financial investors and global start-ups. 

  • What is fintech and how is it impacting how we bank, save and invest?
  • Dubai: the number 1 fintech hub

What is fintech and how is it impacting how we bank, save and invest?

Financial innovations can directly impact the efficiency of the financial sector. Yet, fintech plays a huge role in the digital economy and how we go about our everyday lives.

It’s designed to be a threat and a challenge that will ultimately wipe out traditional financial service providers. It can serve an underserved segment and provide faster and/or better service to its consumers.

Fintech provides omni-channel services at our fingertips, traditional procedures and branch-based activities are almost all now digital. Little things like, paying in cheques, setting up standing orders, tracking and logging and paying our taxes are all now readily available to us from the comfort of our own homes.

An omni-channel experience means we get great customer service 24/7, creating a consistent and seamless online journey for us across SMS, email and chatbots.

Some, particularly the baby boomer generation, are apprehensive to give in to the fintech revolution, due to a feeling of technological vulnerability and the unknown.

We now know that fintech is enhancing the identification of fraudulent activity and money laundering digitally, simply using artificial intelligence (AI) and incredibly clever biometrics.

Biometrics are security identification processes that use body measurements and calculations, for example voice recognition, face recognition and fingerprint. 

This kind of sophisticated software makes using fintech more secure over standard online banking. 

Financial technology has been adapted to our individual needs and wants, working to tailor its offerings and features into practical solutions for consumers. This could be a feature that motivates and makes it easy for consumers to save money, whilst being able to see where it is and how it’s benefiting you. 

It’s not just saving, we can now invest and manage our money from our phones. We can track our money visually, from anywhere at any time. Including what account it’s in, what’s coming in and out of your account, what’s earning you capital and what’s gaining interest. 

Fintech is a great way of making seemingly complicated options like investing, become more accessible to everyone by using sophisticated software like robo-advisors and blockchain.

Blockchain is the technology behind the cryptocurrency Bitcoin, one of the most radical fintech developments to date.

The use of blockchain technology is set to grow and will only positively change the way we invest, by providing a more secure alternative to other investments. Blockchain offers security, by authenticating transactions by a network of users worldwide.

Dubai: the number 1 fintech hub

Dubai was recently ranked seventh in the world’s top fintech locations of the future and is already poised to shape financial innovation and the eighth amongst leading financial powerhouses. 

This exciting new ranking was spurred on by development inside the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the largest and most developed financial ecosystem in the region. 

Dubai is now home to over 100 international and regional fintech firms, all of which have chosen the DIFC as their preferred jurisdiction to grow their business.

The DIFC have a dedicated accelerator programme, for regional and global fintech start-ups, in which they’ve seen a 42% increase in applications this year against 2018. 

This dedicated programme is designed to nurture financial technology start-ups into the economy, after realising the potential and opportunities they bring to the nation.

Start-ups receive subsided licensing options and access to a dedicated pot of USD100 million fintech fund, alongside access to partners and mentorship. The perfect recipe for firms to grow, expand and thrive!

The programme is set to position Dubai as the fintech hub for the region whilst accelerating its future of finance.

The number of licensed fintech firms operating in the DIFC increased from 35 to more than 80 in the first half of 2019 since the programme launched.

Today, fintech encompasses everything from customer service chatbots, machine learning algorithms, fraud analytics and blockchain for digital transactions. 

Dubai is quickly becoming the global leader in fintech and has big plans for the future of its financial technology economy. 

Ai Investment Group are a UAE based firm, we work with you to manage your wealth and investment opportunities using the latest fintech and global connections to maximise your assets. 

We always keep in mind your long-term objectives, which allow us to steer your portfolio in a direction that serves both your financial ambition and your specific lifestyle choice, whether you're living in the UAE or are looking to.