Markaz Gold Sponsor of Kuwait’s First MoneyTech Summit

16/11/2022

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Kuwait Financial Centre “Markaz” announced the conclusion of its Gold sponsorship and participation in the MoneyTech Summit, a one-day event organized by Al Jarida Summits and Kuwait’s first-ever money and technology-focused event. Representing Markaz at the event, which was held on 14 November 2022, at the Grand Hyatt Kuwait Hotel, was Vice President - Strategic Planning at Markaz, Mr. Salman Olayan. 
Mr. Olayan took part in the panel titled ‘Exporting Kuwait’s MoneyTech’, alongside other experts from the fintech industry who shared insights and experiences of Kuwaiti companies that expanded beyond Kuwait and successfully navigated the region's varied markets. It also addressed the investment prospects of cross-border fintechs in the region in an increasingly expensive capital market.

Mr. Olayan took the lead in shedding light on the disruption led by the uprise of fintech and the resilience shown by investment companies as they adapted to this new technology. He also addressed how both fintech companies and investment companies could collaborate within the region to drive further growth in the financial services sector, which is a significant contributor to GDP and a growth engine for the private sector. 
“Fintech companies need to be clear on the value proposition that they are offering to end-users, i.e., the problem they are solving or greater convenience they are providing. At the same time, financial Institutions need to accept some risks when it comes to adopting innovation ideas” Mr. Olayan said.

He added, “Funding is available in the market; however, valuations are under pressure. Investors have safer choices when interest rates are high, where they are spending more time on due diligence and becoming more selective.”

Mr. Olayan also pointed out that Kuwait is emerging as a leading force in fintech supported by young Kuwaitis who are both entrepreneurial and tech-savvy, adding that the country’s financial services sector will experience further growth and become competitive regionally and internationally if more fintech enterprises succeed and flourish. 

“To be successful, however, fintech companies will need to invest their focus and efforts in harnessing the potential of automation, which is crucial to business growth. At Markaz, we place a strong emphasis on automation across our operations with three imperatives driving its adoption: as a tool to enhance client experience and interaction with us, providing the client with a window to access markets worldwide; as an enabler to manufacture and deliver safely profitable investment products, and as a facilitator of efficiency that enables us to streamline and scale up our business.”

The MoneyTech summit witnessed more than 150 attendees, with more than 10 startups that pitched their business concepts to leaders in the Kuwaiti fintech market. It also featured more than 4 panel sessions and keynotes that addressed various aspects of fintech, from digital banking opportunities to regulatory opportunities and challenges.  

Markaz will continue to support local initiatives that generate awareness and add value to the Kuwaiti economy as a whole, while sharing insights and expertise based on its track record of 48 years in the financial sector.