The Saudi fintech sector saw the number of companies operating in the sector more than double in 2023 compared to the end of 2022, according to the Kingdom’s Central Bank (SAMA) governor.
Ayman Al-Sayari revealed that as of August 2023, over 200 of these firms are now active in the economy, up from 89 in 2022 and 51 in 2021. This translates into a 300 percent in under 2 years.
Al-Sayari highlighted an initiative between SAMA and the Capital Market Authority to support startups in the sector by availing comprehensive packages designed to accelerate the growth of these companies.
The SAMA report revealed that fintechs generated total revenues of SR2.8 billion ($746.4 million) in 2022, an increase from SR2 billion in 2021. Total assets held by fintechs also grew to SR6.8 billion in 2022 from SR6.5 billion the year before.
Saudi plans to increase the share of non-cash transactions among individuals to 70 percent by 2025 as well as raise fintech contribution to the GDP to SR4.5 billion.
In August 2023, SAMA licensed two new fintech companies, Lean Technologies, and Mod5r, both of which to offer open banking solutions across the Kingdom.
This brings the total number of fintech companies permitted to operate under the bank’s regulatory pilot environment to 38.
The Saudi Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) aims to encourage economic growth, savings, and investment, promote financial inclusion, and make Saudi among the leading countries in the fintech field.
Recently, the Saudi National Bank (SNB) and the Saudi-based fintech company CASHIN signed a contract to help SMEs with financial transactions.
During H1 2022, venture capital investments in Saudi startups increased by more than 200 percent.
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