DIFC teams up with MENA FinTech Association to develop innovation forum

By Amirtha P S, Desk Reporter
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Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has entered into an agreement with MENA FinTech Association (MFTA), a not-for-profit, member-based organization and industry body, for developing the fintech ecosystem in the region.

The partnership deal between DIFC and MFTA is in line with the establishment of the MENA FinTech Association in the financial center. The agreement will see both parties jointly working to boost collaborations across the areas of open banking, regtech, payments and digital assets to support fintech and the future of finance in the region.

DIFC and MFTA will also develop and publish joint research and provide strategically important educational programs on those topics through the DIFC Academy. Further, the partnership aims to deepen collaboration among regional regulators, industry associations, governments, financial institutions, and fintech businesses to unlock the sector’s full potential.

DIFC Innovation Panel

As part of this collaboration, DIFC’s regulatory agency Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) and MFTA have jointly founded the “DIFC Innovation Panel”, an exclusive forum for founders, enablers and industry thought leaders to give guidance on developing and building a successful future of finance and innovation ecosystem.

Another forum will be created for regular engagement to discuss trends, challenges and opportunities in the market and the impact of innovative technologies and business models used by the financial services sector.

The major focus of the panel is to create greater engagement, transparency and understanding among all future finance stakeholders on how to evolve the fintech sector to growth while mitigating the emerging risks from new technologies.

The DIFC Innovation Panel membership is invitation-only and includes a core and extended
group. Members include among others Ebury, Checkout, Sarwa, Ripple, Careem, Nuwa
Capital, DAI, Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance and C4IR UAE.

Arif Amiri
Arif Amiri
CEO – DIFC Authority

“We are committed to strengthening a culture of localized innovation, especially in the FinTech sector, which is aligned with the vision of our leadership to establish Dubai as a hub for start-ups to flourish. Through our agreement with MFTA, we collaborate to create a roadmap for FinTech entrepreneurs by offering insights on the future of finance. The ‘DIFC Innovation Panel’ will serve as a platform for fintech and innovation companies, regulators, financial centers, established financial firms and governments to discuss emerging trends in this promising sector.”

Nameer Khan, Chairman of MFTA, said “We are pleased to see the rapid development of our partnership with DIFC. With a primary focus on supporting FinTech businesses across the MENA region. The collaboration also includes strategic projects with government bodies, regional regulators and IFC’s to further complement their work in creating an enabling framework that today plays a key role in the economics of a country. The ‘DIFC Innovation Panel’ will serve as a key catalyst in further strengthening the regional MENA FinTech landscape.”

Related: Royal Strategic Partners, Global Links acquire 55% share in DIFC-based fintech platform