MEFTECH 2019 to support fintech growth in KSA

Over the years, the event has brought together more than 8,000 financial industry executives and over 1,000 technology providers in the region.
Updated 11 February 2019

MEFTECH 2019 to support fintech growth in KSA

MEFTECH, the longest-running banking and financial technology event in the MENA Region, will return to Riyadh from Feb. 24-25 at the Four Seasons Riyadh for its second edition in the Kingdom. MEFTECH is initiated by mada, the national payment network, and SADAD Payment and aims to highlight and support the rapidly developing payments, e-commerce and retail industry in the Kingdom.

The fintech industry is an integral part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 digital transformation program. According to a recent study by MENA Research Partners (MRP), private-funding investments in GCC-based fintech startups is expected to reach $2 billion in the next decade, and the number of fintech companies across the MENA region is expected to double from 130 to 260 over the next two years.

MEFTECH 2019 presented by STC Pay will address trends and issues within the fintech sector focusing on digital economy, blockchain, mobile payments and artificial intelligence (AI) within the e-commerce industry. This edition also marks the launch of the MEFTECH Innovation Awards, which celebrate the achievements and innovation in the Saudi Arabian fintech ecosystem. The awards will recognize the best local bank or financial institution within 10 different categories and the winners will be selected by the panel of independent expert judges. 

MEFTECH Payments will have a dedicated Fintech Start-Up Zone in partnership with Fintech Galaxy — a MENA-focused digital crowdsourcing platform that connects Fintech entrepreneurs to financial institutions. The Fintech Start-Up Zone will provide a platform to early stage startups from across the MENA region to exhibit and present their ideas or products to potential investors, government officials and industry experts.

Ziyad Al-Yousef, managing director, Saudi Payments, said: “The Kingdom, through the fintech Saudi initiative aims to transform into an innovative fintech hub with a thriving ecosystem driven by local and international stakeholders. Furthermore, the government has implemented multiple reforms to promote the digitalization of financial services and drive toward a cashless society which is a game-changing initiative within the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) under the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

Ahmed Alenazi, vice president of business, STC Pay — a digital financial services company in the Kingdom and sponsor of MEFTECH 2019 — said: “It is essential for the Kingdom to steadily shift toward a cashless society as it enables transparency within the financial sector and supports modernization of payments infrastructure which are key catalysts for economic development. STC Pay is a significant step toward digitizing and building a secure, seamless payments service across the Kingdom. At STC Pay, we aim to provide new and innovative technologies and digital experiences to our customers and empower individuals to take full control of their finances.”

Over the years, the event has brought together more than 8,000 financial industry executives and over 1,000 technology providers in Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Dubai and Abu Dhabi.


Community Jameel fund to support RCM students

Updated 30 September 2020

Community Jameel fund to support RCM students

The Royal College of Music (RCM) in London, one of the world’s greatest conservatoires, has announced the establishment of the Community Jameel Hardship Fund to support RCM students who are experiencing unexpected difficulty or financial hardship, for an initial period of three years. All students are eligible to apply.

The new fund represents a continuation of the RCM’s relationship with the global philanthropy Community Jameel, which in November 2019 saw the launch of a scholarship supported by Community Jameel and the Andrea Bocelli Foundation.

The first Jameel Scholar to be supported by the Community Jameel Hardship Fund for the 2020/21 academic year is Tunisian violinist Bacem Anas Romdhani. Having graduated from the RCM with a masters in 2020, Romdhani will study for an artist diploma.

Professor Colin Lawson, director of the RCM, said: “I am enormously grateful on behalf of everyone at the RCM for Community Jameel’s continued support of our students. In what has been an immensely challenging year, Community Jameel’s generous gift will have a significant impact for those who have unexpectedly found themselves facing financial hardship. The RCM has a long history of philanthropic support which provides greater access to our world-leading education.”

Mohammed Jameel KBE, founder of Community Jameel, said: “At Community Jameel, we are committed to supporting access to quality musical education, particularly for students from the Arab world, a region with a longstanding tradition of producing world-class composers, conductors and performers, and home to opera houses, concert halls and orchestras.

“Through the Community Jameel Hardship Fund, we are proud to be partnering again with the RCM to support students facing financial difficulties, and assisting international students from the Arab world to attend one of the world’s best conservatoires.”

This Hardship Fund continues the support of Community Jameel for the institutions of South Kensington, including the Jameel Gallery at the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Jameel Institute at Imperial College, and the Bocelli-Jameel Scholarship at the RCM.

Any surplus in the fund will provide scholarship support for international students, with a preference for students from the Arab world.

More than 50 percent of current RCM students have received financial support during their studies through scholarships and awards, thanks to the generosity of a variety of charitable trusts, companies, businesses, individual members of the public and legacies.

Founded in 1883, the Royal College of Music is a world-leading music conservatoire with a prestigious history and contemporary outlook. For the fifth consecutive year in 2020, the RCM was ranked as the top institution in the UK for the performing arts in the QS World University Rankings.