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CedarIBSI FinTech Lab roundtable discusses need for RegTechs in Middle East

CedarIBSI FinTech Lab in Dubai

IBS Intelligence (www.ibsintelligence.com), a global leader in banking technology research, along with its group company Cedar Management Consulting LLC. (www.cedar-consulting.com), a leading global financial services consulting firm, successfully conducted its second FinTech Roundtable on November 28 in Dubai.

The roundtable discussed the need for innovations in the treasury management systems and regulatory technologies in the banking eco-system. It was well-participated by the members of the lab and also various UAE-based banking majors such as National Bank of Fujairah, Mashreq Bank, ENDB (Emirates NBD) and Dubai Islamic Bank. The lab members included i-Xceed Solutions, Fournxt, Clayfin, Expleo (formerly Thinksoft) and Clari5.

Rise of RegTechs

Rivi Varghese, CEO and Founder of Clari5 (CustomerXPS), on the need to develop solutions around fraud or risk management, treasury management and compliance, said that the cyber-attacks are now getting coordinated for short durations. Hence, the need is more pressing for banks to adopt solutions that could prevent them from any risks resulting in financial loss. The company is planning to launch a federated network of banks that would enable member banks to receive fraud-related information and intelligence on a real-time basis.

On the need for regulatory technologies (RegTech), Chetan Parekh, Partner at CedarIBSI said that as the global economies are stressing on bringing out newer regulations for banking and financial institutions on the back of increasing corporate data breaches, consumer privacy concerns, and a wave of new GDPR-like regulations amongst other risks. “It is leading to a massive demand for RegTech tools that could help enterprises meet compliance challenges,” he added.

Sharing some data, Parekh said that investments into the RegTech space are expected to reach $76 billion globally, of which a mere $1.4 billion has come into the Middle East market. However, in the coming months, more and more start-ups are likely to emerge in the Middle East market even as banks’ annual spends on compliance and regulatory obligations are going up. Besides, the evolution of regulatory sandboxes in the market to promote innovations in RegTech and risk management space is increasing. There are a total number of nine such sandboxes in the entire Middle East market.

Opportunities in Middle East market

Murtaza Shaikhally, Senior Director at CedarIBSI and Director-in-Residence of CedarIBSI FinTech Lab said, “The round-table provide an excellent and regular opportunity for the banking and FinTech communities to regularly get-together and discuss mutually relevant and critical issues and ideas affecting the broader industry; and also provide a platform to present and test innovative solutions to address these issues.”

The FinTech Lab was created about a year ago to help global FinTech start-ups and companies tap the opportunity in the burgeoning financial services technology market in the Middle East. There are currently about 16 rapidly growing FinTech’s who are cohort members of the lab.

Located in the Dubai Internet City, the lab aims to help provide suppliers with access to Middle East banking technology market.

According to industry experts, banks in the Middle East spend $10 billion annually. The lab also provides banks and insurance companies an opportunity to test and experience global FinTech products within the region in an innovative lab environment.

Sanjiv Anand, Chairman of CedarIBSI, said “ We have a 20-year track record of helping banks transform their business model and technology in the region. We are hoping to leverage our strong regional knowledge in helping global FinTechs participate in the opportunity, and at the same time share global banking technology trends with bankers in the region.”

The Cohort member benefits include:

Market Access: Provide start-up, emerging, and recognised suppliers an opportunity to access banking opportunities within the region leveraging our 20-year presence and markets connects assisting banks in developing & executing technology transformation.

Virtual Sandbox: The Lab will offer a virtual sandbox to banks & suppliers to allow for rapid product showcasing, but more importantly, quick POCs supported by our project management capability.

Investor Access: We will leverage its connects with family offices, private investment offices, VC, and PE funds, encouraging them to evaluate & potentially invest in FinTech firms seeking capital carefully.

Growth Enablers: Our strategy consulting teams can assist cohort members with regional and global corporate growth strategy leveraging its 30-year expertise in this area.

Lab Facilities: The state-of-the-art Lab facilities include private cloud, hot seats & conference room facilities, sanitised data sets of bank customer data that can be used in a POC, and range of other standard workspace conveniences.

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