Technology is gradually revolutionizing industries across the globe, and the financial sector is not spared. Coming from the traditional system of long queues in banks, pen on paper means of transactions, and delayed resolutions of monetary affairs, the financial sector has evolved to fintech applications that are readily available to users. Fintech, a short form for Financial Technology, is the term used to describe new tech that seeks to improve and automate the use and delivery of financial services. The benefits associated with fintech applications include lower costs, greater convenience and faster rates of approval.
Fintech in the Middle East
The Middle East region is a thriving hub when it comes to digital banking, and as far as innovations go, the region is set to be a forerunner in disruptive financial technologies. The Fintech sector in the Middle East is increasing rapidly with a Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 30%, and with half of the population in the region under 25 years old, the push for digital solutions across the financial sector will only continue to grow. With this in mind, this article points to the top seven fintech applications in the Middle East.
Top Fintech applications in the Middle East
According to Forbes, these are the top 7 fintech applications in the Middle East:
MyFawry is ranked first on the Forbes list and was launched in 2019. The company provides banking and payment technological services at your fingertips. In April 2022, myFawry was ranked number 15 globally in Computer Electronics and Technology applications. It uses channels such as ATMs and retail outlets to provide its financial services.
2. Al Ansari Exchange Mobile App
Al Ansari is described as UAE’s leading money transfer company. Founded in 2018, the company accepts payments via online bank transfers, credit cards, direct debits and the PayPlus card. It has several branches across UAE.
3. Al Mulla Exchange
Kuwait’s first remittance app, Al Mulla allows customers to transfer money within Kuwait and abroad. Al Mulla recently partnered with NIUM to provide customers with cross-border payments in all major currencies. Ranked as the third remittance app in the MENA region, Al Mulla is available in seven different languages.
4. My Fatoorah
Established in 2016 in Kuwait, myFatoorah is a peer-to-peer payment solution that enables Middle East businesses to maximize efficiency through straightforward steps. However, myFaroorah does not provide free services, and they make their money by charging a transaction fee. The app is available in Oman, Egypt, UAE, Qatar and Saudi Arabia and has offices in these countries to provide customer support.
ValU is Egypt’s first buy-now-pay-later app, an app that allows you to shop in more than 1000 stores in Cairo and pay as you can afford every month. In three easy steps, you can begin shopping through the valU app, with no need for any down payment. It is the first fintech app of its kind in Egypt.
MoneyFellows is a trusted and more affordable way of finding money circles online. The digital version of the traditional ROSCA model known as “Gameyas”, the app enables users to access affordable credit and savings and helps them avoid all the problems of traditional money circles. MoneyFellows collaborated with e-Cards in January 2022 to provide facilitated financing solutions to beneficiaries of the Egyptian government.
The FinFirst app was launched during the pandemic in 2020, and it provides digital financial services and processing from anywhere, anytime. The app helps users apply for loans online by pairing them with banks and other financial institutions to deliver a digital borrowing experience for every kind of loan. It eliminates physical visits and bureaucracy from a customer’s banking experience.
Compared to 2017, when fintech companies in the region were only about 30, now over 465 fintech companies exist in the Middle East. The growing adoption of blockchain technology and decentralized finance in all forms also makes the future of financial technology hold a lot of promise in the region.