During 2015, the number of fintech startups in the United Arab Emirates was 30. In total there were 105 fintech startups in the entire Middle East and North Africa during this period.
Fintech in MENA
At its core, fintech not only assists consumers, but also companies and business owners to better manage their financial operations using specialized software. High smartphone and internet penetration in the MENA region in recent years has been a factor in driving the rise in fintech startups. Additionally, the region holds a sizeable youthful population who tend to be more flexible to change and early technology adopters.
Burdensome and outdated regulations in the region have historically slowed down adoption and investment. However, a recent rapid change in the regulatory environment has been observed in different countries such as Egypt and Jordan, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. The online banking penetration rate in Egypt was forecasted to expand to 12 percent by 2025. Despite being in their relative infancy, the region now has different levels of regulatory aspects that pertain to fintech specifically. Adding to this, the region hosts a high percentage of unbanked adults which provides opportunities for fintech startups to step in and fill in the market gaps.
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Wamda. (March 16, 2017). Number of fintech startup in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2015, by country [Graph]. In Statista. Retrieved July 03, 2022, from https://www.statista.com/statistics/880185/mena-number-of-fintech-startups-by-country/
Wamda. "Number of fintech startup in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2015, by country." Chart. March 16, 2017. Statista. Accessed July 03, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/880185/mena-number-of-fintech-startups-by-country/
Wamda. (2017). Number of fintech startup in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2015, by country. Statista. Statista Inc.. Accessed: July 03, 2022. https://www.statista.com/statistics/880185/mena-number-of-fintech-startups-by-country/
Wamda. "Number of Fintech Startup in The Middle East and North Africa Region in 2015, by Country." Statista, Statista Inc., 16 Mar 2017, https://www.statista.com/statistics/880185/mena-number-of-fintech-startups-by-country/
Wamda, Number of fintech startup in the Middle East and North Africa region in 2015, by country Statista, https://www.statista.com/statistics/880185/mena-number-of-fintech-startups-by-country/ (last visited July 03, 2022)