Fintech innovation ‘playing key role in transforming industry’

More than 300 regional and international attendees including senior fintech, banking, regulatory, legal and investment experts came together yesterday to engage in dynamic discussions on ‘How fintech innovation is transforming the investment industry’.

They were participating in the 3rd Annual Islamic Finance Innovation Day (IFID) Forum in hybrid format at the Gulf Hotel Bahrain Convention and Spa.

It was held under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), whose Governor Rasheed Al Maraj welcomed business leaders and attendees and highlighted the important role of fintech in industry transformation and the ongoing development of the investment sector.

Hassan Jarrar, chief executive of BisB, the forum’s exclusive banking partner, delivered the first keynote address looking at ‘The next phase of digital innovation’.

Discussing the evolution of the industry and where banks must focus today, he emphasised that, “To remain in pace with this rapidly advancing phenomenon of a digital-first society, and approach the future with confidence, we, as financial service providers, need to operate with agility and flexibility. We need to look beyond the technology and think about the people it impacts, whether be it our customers, employees, or partners.”

‘Fintech innovation in real estate investing’ was also in the spotlight.

Anouar Adham, co-founder and chief executive of CrowdToLive, a leading UK-based fintech offering an innovative and unique way to access the real estate asset class, and a forum partner, delivered a presentation highlighting how factional ownership can provide a non-debt solution both for investing and financing real estate transactions around the world.

Mr Adham noted, “Historically, real estate has been a prime asset class for debt financing, however the continuous price rise of residential properties around the world created a serious affordability crisis, non-debt solution is an answer to this challenge.”

Two interactive panel discussions followed covering the role of new cutting-edge digital solutions and how they are revolutionising the investment industry with senior experts looking at the resulting challenges and opportunities and overall developments from a holistic prospective covering the regulatory and legal fronts as well as implications on financial services providers and the customers they serve.

The first panel, addressing the forum’s theme, featured Yasmeen Al Sharaf, director, fintech and innovation unit at the CBB; Maisaa Shunnar, group chief digital transformation at BisB and Mr Adham.

The discussion, which was moderated by Vineeta Tan, managing editor and a director at REDmoney Group, covered key changes across the regulatory landscape, both in the region and internationally, and their evolution to support innovation and industry transformation.

Also discussed were the various approaches being taken by banks and fintech providers to accelerate digitalisation, transformation strategies being employed and customer needs and demand driving adoption, among others.

The second panel looked at ‘Fintech innovation and ecosystem and legal developments,’ with participation from Yasmeen Al Saffar, head of financial services, Economic Development Board, Roberto Mancone, chief executive and executive board member, BEYON Money and Mohamed Toorani, partner and head of Bahrain office at DLA Piper.

The discussion, moderated by Kal Subramanian, head of markets at KPMG (Bahrain), saw panelists address how technology is changing the paradigm of financial services and the entire marketplace.

They addressed both opportunities created and the risks and challenges that have arisen. Speakers also importantly discussed how regulators and policymakers have reacted and changes needed to the legal landscape to cover new activities and business models that have been brought about by financial technology as it works to disintermediate the financial services value chain and transform the landscape as a whole.

IFID 2022 was also backed by strategic partner Tamkeen and insurance partner Solidarity.




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