First FinTech Regulatory Lab coming up, MEA region


In a first-of-its-kind move, a social impact firm focused on harnessing innovation and entrepreneurship to achieve real economic impact across Africa has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), an international financial centre in Abu Dhabi, to foster and support the growth and activities of FinTech in the Middle East and African regions.

The deal offers ADGM the unique position of being the first FinTech regulatory laboratory (RegLab) that will focus on innovation and research practices and applications in the earmarked marketplaces.

A unique aspect of the facility will be its ability to assess the risk factors involved when a Fintech partner or customer fosters relationships; enabling them to customize the test boundaries and regulatory requirements.

The ADGM RegLab will allow a safe and secure test environment for the Fintech application, and shall provide access to dedicated regulatory support and guidance for a period of up to two years to develop and test their FinTech proposition.

Mr Richard Teng, CEO, FSRA of ADGM said, “The new partnership with TechPreneur Africa marks another achievement towards strengthening the connections between FinTech communities, and harnessing synergies in innovations and capabilities through global collaboration.

 As a new and emerging Fintech marketplace, the MEA region is virtually an unexplored goldmine for fintechpreuners. Forecasting an explosive growth, Teng commented, “The MEA region has tremendous demand and growth opportunities for financial services. We hope that through closer collaboration with like-minded FinTech hubs, we are able to leverage the strengths and expertise of our markets to more efficiently address the needs of the industry and support economic growth and development in the region.”

As the marketing landscape expands over the coming years, the ‘new partnership will open up new avenues and create opportunities for FinTech firms in the Middle East and Africa looking to expand into each other’s markets’, feels the Fintech leader who was instrumental in the collaboration.

It was in 2015 that Techpreneur Africa launched operations in the African market. Ever since, the organization has never ceased being excited at the opportunities that the continent offers for Fintech entrepreneurs, firms and the financial services industry.

Pursuing a lofty goal of achieving 30% financial inclusion growth by 2020, the industry voice for Africa has been working tirelessly in the promotion of new technologies and modern Fintech applications as the most efficient way to its realization, across all possible avenues that are opening up.

In the words of  Mr Bolaji Finnih, a leading Fintech expert in Africa, who heads MIT REAP, Lagos, the move must aim to underscore the mutual importance of an inclusive financial pursuit and development of the indigenous African Fintech eco-system.

Alongwith other leading industry leaders, he feels that  with TechPreneur Africa, African innovators can apply to ADGM’s RegLab to test their FinTech innovations and prepare to serve the financial markets as regulated FinTech firms.

The Fintech innovators can also gain connections with the GCC countries and international FinTech hubs, to reach new markets with an over-arching capital and regulatory recognition in the GCC and international jurisdictions.

In a harmonious contrast, TechPreneur Africa could facilitate and mentor global participants in ADGM’s RegLab to deploy their solutions to the African markets.

All said, the TechPreneur Africa and ADGM alliance will mark the launch of a new era in Fintech capabilities across the MEA region like never before.

When it comes to Fintech, finally, the MEA can now stand up and be counted.


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