The region of the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) are said to be slow to adopt financial technology services, experts have said at a recent confer
The region of the Middle East and North Africa (Mena) are said to be slow to adopt financial technology services, experts have said at a recent conference.
Some of the notable speakers at the Dubai International Finance Centre (DIFC) were Mustafa Adil, Thomson Reuters’ Head of Islamic Finance – Mena and Dr Jarmo Kotilaine, Chief Economist of the Bahrain Economic Development Board.
“My view is that most innovation, most productivity gains in companies, in countries, happen not because people think productivity is a great thing to have. They really happen in the absence of alternatives.”, according to Kotilaine who thinks that the slow uptake in the Mena region is due to the fact that many don`t see a fit for it at the present moment.
However, there are still companies in the region who explore the potential of financial services.
Dr Hitcham Al Salama, Chief Economic Advisor at Qatar Financial Centre (QFC), told Reuters (zawaya.com):
“It would be foolish of anyone not to ride the wave of technology, especially when it comes to financial technology.”
“QFC, like all the players in the region, is looking closely at the impact, especially when it comes to Islamic funding. Although we rare not as advanced as other centres in the region … We believe we should be playing a complementary role.”, he added. “We have recently started looking closely at fintech strategies, we have looked at the Islamic fintech strategies, and we are hoping that in the next few months we’ll have a clear view on where exactly we’re going to be heading.”
It may be true that the Mena region has a long way to go in comparison to other nations like Singapore, for example. Still, it may soon catch up with exploring the potential uses of the blockchain technology.