Saudi Arabia fueling financial progress with unveiling fintech initiative.

  • Saudi Arabia has unveiled a new financial technology program called Makken to support and develop the fintech sector in the Kingdom.
  • The program aims to empower 150 emerging fintech companies over three years, contributing to the growth of this promising sector.
  • It is part of ongoing efforts by the Saudi Central Bank and the Capital Market Authority to support and develop the fintech ecosystem.
  • Saudi Arabia has seen a 40% growth in fintech companies and the creation of around 3,000 direct jobs in the fintech sector in 2023 alone.
  • The country is also seeing an increase in financial transactions, with a 23% increase in transactions through point-of-sale services in the first 11 months of 2023 compared to the same period in 2022.

The Saudi Central Bank Governor, Ayman Al-Sayari, and the Chairman of the Capital Market Authority, Mohammed El-Kuwaiz, officially launched Makken on December 17, 2023. This initiative is presented under the umbrella of the Financial Sector Development Program. The main goal is to elevate the fintech industry by empowering 150 emerging fintech companies over the next three years.

Al-Sayari shed light on the Kingdom’s remarkable progress in various sectors, with fintech being one of the fastest-developing areas within the country. In his words, “We are witnessing rapid growth in the activities of fintech companies, reaching 207 companies by the end of November 2023, compared to 147 companies at the end of 2022, representing a remarkable 40 percent growth.” He also highlighted the fact that around 3,000 direct jobs have been created in the fintech sector since the beginning of 2023.

Furthermore, financial transactions in the country have been gradually increasing. The number of transactions facilitated through point-of-sale services in the first 11 months of 2023 saw a 23 percent increase, amounting to 8.1 billion compared to 6.6 billion in the same period last year. The total value of these transactions was around SR560 billion ($135.68 billion), a 5% rise from the corresponding period in the previous year.

Al-Sayari concluded by expressing his optimism about the continued advancement of the fintech sector in Saudi Arabia.