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Top FinTech Companies in the Middle East

The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is emerging as a thriving FinTech hub, experiencing remarkable growth and housing a flourishing ecosystem of both startups and established companies. This dynamic environment is driving innovation and propelling the industry forward. With a supportive regulatory framework, state-of-the-art technological infrastructure, and a vibrant startup community—with over 1,177 FinTech startups in the United Arab Emirates—it has become an attractive destination for businesses seeking to establish their presence in the Middle East.

The UAE fintech market is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of more than 15% over the course of the forecast year, with an estimated transaction value of USD 39.3 billion in the current year.

This article explores some of the top FinTech companies making waves in the Middle East:

  • PayTabs: PayTabs, a prominent online payment processing solution provider based in Bahrain, is revolutionizing the way businesses handle their transactions. With their secure and user-friendly platform, PayTabs has become the go-to-choice for e-commerce businesses in the region. They are committed to enhancing the digital payment landscape and have established themselves as pioneers in the fintech industry, offering seamless B2B e-commerce solutions to SMEs.

With the support of private Saudi investment, PayTabs has developed and exported a comprehensive suite of mobile applications and solutions for various industries such as hospitality, government, education, airlines, travel, transport, and billing. This has allowed them to connect and streamline the multi-billion-dollar enterprise market chain in the MENA region. Their latest offering, PayTabs SwitchOn, is a real-time, integrated, turnkey platform that solidifies their position as a global leader in end-to-end payment solutions.

  • GCC Exchange: Established in 2005, the company quickly gained prominence in the money transfer and foreign exchange sectors. What makes the organization stand out is its extensive global reach, covering Europe, Africa, Oceania and Asia, in addition to its flagship entity in the UAE.

The success story of GCC Exchange is fascinating, as it is winning the hearts of its customers in a short period of time. The secret behind? A winning combination of friendly and efficient staff, secure yet straightforward processes, and exceptional service. Whether you are an individual sending money to your loved ones or a business in need of efficient financial solutions, GCC Exchange has got you covered.

With the rapid advancement of digital technology and the increasing need for seamless financial solutions, GCC Exchange recognized the demand for a user-friendly and efficient money transfer app. The result is a powerful application that empowers individuals and businesses to transfer funds instantly and securely, revolutionizing how GCC Exchange handles financial transactions in the UAE.

GCC Exchange launched its new and updated mobile app in 2023, welcoming an immediate boost to its online customers. The app is setting a new standard in the industry by employing cutting-edge technology and providing users with an effortless and secure platform for making Instant Online Transactions on the go.

One of the main highlights of the app is its multiple features – salary tracker, transaction tracker, live exchange rate, currency converter and much more. With a customer support team available 24/7 for any assistance, and multiple payments methods for transactions, the app adds to the convenience of UAE expats’ busy lifestyle. Users can send money from the comfort of their homes and make instant transfers at the best rate and lowest charges.

  • Optasia: Formerly known as Channel VAS, is an AI platform that empowers mobile network operators, mobile wallet operators, and financial institutions to provide financial access to the next billion customers. This versatile, data-driven B2B2X financial technology solution is designed to cater to both customers and SMEs.

With Optasia’s credit scoring system, intelligent credit decisions are made possible, paving the way for a wide range of financial services. The platform’s AI-led, fully automated decision algorithm efficiently analyzes millions of financing applications, ensuring swift and informed decision-making.

Currently, Optasia facilitates credit decisions for an impressive average of 88 million customers each month. Moreover, its reach extends to over 560 million addressable subscribers in 2021, as the platform continues to expand its global presence by venturing into new markets.

  • Now Money: Now Money, a company based in the UAE, is dedicated to enhancing financial inclusion by offering a digital banking solution tailored to the needs of low-income migrant workers. The founders of NOW Money established the company in 2016 with the goal of providing financial services to the millions of overlooked and underserved individuals in this segment of the population.

Initially, there were skeptics who dismissed the idea of a digital account and card solution for migrant laborers. They wrongly assumed that this demographic would not be able to afford or navigate an app-based service. However, the founders knew otherwise. Previous attempts to offer digital accounts to this demographic had failed, so they took a unique approach to ensure their solution would be successful in the Middle East. They reimagined and redesigned the broader financial ecosystem, paving the way for a groundbreaking solution.

  • Sarwa: Sarwa, a robo-advisory platform based in the UAE, aims to make investment opportunities easily accessible to individuals without a finance background. With a user-friendly platform, Sarwa simplifies the investment process and encourages long-term savings. Sarwa Digital Wealth (Capital) Limited is regulated by the Financial Service Regulatory Authority in the ADGM, while Sarwa Digital Wealth Limited is regulated by the Dubai Financial Services Authority in the DIFC.

The company upholds high standards of compliance and undergoes regular audits. Sarwa, composed of experts in investment, finance, design, data science, and technology, strives to provide the best investment experience to help users achieve their goals.

Currently, Sarwa offers a comprehensive solution for individuals seeking hands-off auto-investing through Sarwa Invest, self-directed trading of stocks, ETFs, and Crypto via Sarwa Trade, and a platform to earn interest on cash with Sarwa Save. Their hybrid model provides access to on-demand investment experts and a human customer support team to address any inquiries or concerns.

  • Telr: Telr aims to streamline the e-commerce ecosystem by eliminating fragmentation. Their primary goal is to facilitate cashless transactions and digitize payment acceptance methods for customers. Telr’s headquarters are located in Singapore, while their technology operations are managed from Dubai. Additionally, they have offices in Riyadh and Mumbai to cater to clients in Saudi Arabia and India, respectively. Telr provides payment gateway services to businesses registered in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and India.

End Note:

Notably, these companies have played a pivotal role in promoting financial inclusion by providing access to financial services to previously underserved populations. Through their innovative products and services, they have managed to bridge the gap between traditional banking and the unbanked, empowering individuals and small businesses with the tools to participate in the digital economy.

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