Sharjah skyline. Image Credit: Gulf News Archive

Dubai: The fifth edition of the Sharjah FDI Forum on Monday and Tuesday will host a panel discussion on the first day titled “The Future of Fintech (Banking & Finance) — Investing In Innovation and Sustainability of Digitalised Currencies and Capital Allocation”.

A group of top-tier technology and finance experts, including Daniel Lam, regional director of Middle East and Africa, Hong Kong Trade Development Council; Evans Munyuki, chief digital officer at Emirates NBD; Alaeddin Elmajed, payment services director and fintech leader, Hyper Pay; Mohamed Roushdy, experienced CIO, fintech and digital transformation adviser and head of technology at Dubai Asset Management; and Padmini Gupta, fintech CEO and co-founder of Rise, will examine how the disruption of fintech and digital currencies can be steered by investors in both government and private sectors.

Over the past few years, the UAE’s thrust to enable the nation’s comprehensive and dynamic FinTech ecosystem continues to transform, ignite and reshape the financial innovation sector in the region and around the world, delivering sustainable growth.

Globally too, investment in Fintech companies rose to $112 billion (Dh411 billion) last year, up a staggering 120 per cent from 2017, according to KPMG’s The Pulse of Fintech 2018 biannual report.

Research firms forecast that fintech will revolutionise banks in the region, especially in the GCC. A report by Accenture and Fintech Hive puts the UAE as a leading fintech hub in terms of start-ups, followed by Jordan and Lebanon.

The same report estimates that fintech investments in the Middle East to reach $2 billion by 2022.

Fintech has been an FDI magnet due owing to its increased mobilisation and access to funds, transcending geographical constraints.

Fintech has been supporting global investments in various other sectors too.

Crowdfunding platforms — a product of Fintech — are becoming big investment drivers.

Major projects financed through crowdsourcing and pay-as-you-go business models powered by mobile payment platforms, are now in the hands of millions of low-income households, improving household health, livelihood and educational opportunities.