Dubai, United Arab Emirates -Tuesday, January 10th 2017 [ ME NewsWire ]
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the financial hub for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, and Accenture, a leading global professional services company, today announced the region’s first FinTech accelerator in Dubai.
Set to launch in the first quarter of 2017, FinTech Hive at DIFC, will bring cutting-edge financial services technology to MEASA markets, while providing a platform that brings financial and technology firms together to increase access to, improve customer experience and drive operational efficiencies in the financial services sector.
The global FinTech sector has attracted more than $50 billion in investment since 2010, but currently the MENA region only attracts around 1 percent of that. The DIFC Accelerator intends to bridge the gap by creating a platform that identifies leading technology entrepreneurs and companies through a competitive process and then offering them the opportunity to develop, test and modify their innovations in collaboration with top executives from DIFC and regional financial institutions.
His Excellency Essa Kazim, Governor of Dubai International Financial Centre said, “We are proud to be launching Fintech Hive at DIFC following the recent announcement of the world’s first government accelerator programmes. The UAE National Innovation Strategy and Dubai Plan 2021 steer us to be among the smartest cities in the world. With our founding Membership in the Global Blockchain Council and today’s launch, DIFC is pioneering innovative developments in the MEASA’s financial services sector, while taking our economies to new horizons.”
Sushil Saluja, Accenture’s senior managing director for Financial Services, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Latin America region, said, “DIFC is uniquely positioned to become the regional hub for FinTech. The accelerator programme will identify the best entrepreneurs within the financial services industry and grant them invaluable access to and feedback from potential customers and funders.”
FinTech Hive at DIFC will start with a 12 week ‘accelerator programme’. It intends to catalyse the growth and efficiency in a variety of areas including trade finance, alternative finance such as P2P payments, and Sharia based services.
Emirates NBD and Mashreq will be the first local financial institutions to join the accelerator programme, while HSBC and VISA are the first international financial services providers.