Posted on December 14, 2018

As part of its continuous efforts in supporting SMEs and Qatari entrepreneurs towards developing Qatar and building a knowledge-based economy with a strong focus on some of the key sectors, Qatar Development Bank (QDB) launched today the “FinTech Pitching and Coaching day”, as a new step towards achieving great strides in the FinTech sector and create a technology driven landscape for future generations.

The event, which took place at the Sheraton Hotel Doha, was attended by guests from Europe, East Asia, and the Middle East to offer their significant contribution towards a unified cause of leading a fintech economy. This event was a great opportunity for representatives from the banking and investment sector to explore the technology breakthrough trends and meet young and aggressive entrepreneurs and foster relationships with them.

During the “FinTech Pitching and Coaching day” QDB signed a cooperation agreement with Finastra, one of the largest Fintech collaborative platform based in UK, and have representations in major hubs across the world. By signing the MoU with Finanstra, QDB will be contributing significantly to the development of Qatar Fintech Ecosystem by enabling FinTech’s and financial institutions to  change the way modern banking software is built and distributed. With Finanstra’s platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution, QDB supports collaboration and encourages innovation. The event also witnessed the participation of the Qatari Fintech ecosystem representatives such as financial institutions, regulators, incubators and entrepreneurs who provided demonstration about their latest services. The session started with the keynote speech by a path breaking international Fintech Entrepreneur – Lemon Way, a French Payment Startup, followed by the demonstration of existing local and international clients of QDB including MaktApp (Qatar); Qwallet (Qatar); QChain (Qatar); SoCash (Singapore); Factris (Netherlands); International Start UP (TBD).

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In the past few years, fintech has emerged as one of the biggest disruptors of the once-traditional banking industry. Innovative banking services that offer increased efficiency and lower costs have helped propel the rise of fintech in a global industry. A leading research firm reflected that the global fintech market in Q1’17 saw a total investment of US$3.2 billion across 260 deals.

Qatar has been fast catching up to the globally trending technological developments and is shaping up well as a technology-led economy. All thanks to the right regulatory environment, extremely competitive operating costs, government support, funding support and a ready financial services sector to work with, the banking sector is finding it easier to transform and upgrade as per the changing market dynamics. Always staying at the forefront, Qatar Development Bank is taking tremendous efforts to offer much needed push to Qatar’s financial landscape, aptly backed by technology. This project is the first step in positioning QDB as the regional FinTech hub and bringing a new era of growth for Qatar. By gathering globally leading fintech experts and entrepreneurs, this platform is set to bring major transformation for the people of Qatar who are aspiring to venture into this promising territory.

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On the launch of the event, Mr. Khalid Al-Mana, Executive Director of Business Finance Department, at Qatar Development Bank, said: “We always seek enabling platforms where we can empower Qatari youths and the launch of the )FinTech Pitching and Coaching day( will open a new chapter for financial technology start-ups and will offer them the newer global paradigms that they are looking out for. By inviting leading European FinTech VC funds to participate in pitching sessions and coach Qatari FinTech startups as well as attracting leading FinTech collaboration platform to enter business relationships with QDB, we significantly contribute to strengthening country FinTech focus. Through this event, we also aim to position Qatar as magnet for talents in FinTech both locally and globally. At QDB, we are committed to offer a significant contribution towards making our financial services sector more robust, more innovative and more advanced.”

The event was successful in achieving FinTech focus awareness among stakeholders and start-ups as well as public in general. The project further envisions to foster partnerships with international FinTech VC funds, ecosystems and collaborative platforms to support Qatari and Qatarized/localized FinTech entrepreneurs.

The FinTech Pitching and Coaching day had a pragmatic format covering the entire digital ecosystem with discussion topics including the international Fintech landscape, digital wealth management, real estate technologies, challenges across customer engagement, the new product development process and customer journey design concepts. It also triggered idea exchanges on the cultural and mindset change required to think of the ‘art of the possible’ and the skill sets required to achieve these technology based transformations in practice.