Different studies expected the number of Fintech startups in Jordan to surpass 200 in 2020. The country has a fertile ground for digital financial services as 70% of the population are youth, the internet penetration rate is 87%, and the pool of unbanked households is large. In 2019, 17% of Egyptian internet users transferred money online to family or friends, 12% used a mobile payment service, and 3% owned cryptocurrency – compared to 32%, 22%, and 6% consecutively in the UAE.
During lockdowns, even the least tech-savvy population in MENA had to use e-banking and digital services. As a result, Fintech startups in the region would gain traction during and after the crisis. UAE, Egypt, and Jordan hold the biggest number of Fintech startups, and could lead the region’s startup scene soon – if provided with the needed assistance and regulatory support.
It is also worth noting that any development in Fintech, will automatically result in improved innovation in other industries, for example, the complications of the payment gateway system in Palestine has delayed the growth of the e-commerce industry among others.
The most promising innovations in the industry are:
- Digital currencies – the Chinese government and Facebook plan to release their digital currencies in 2021
- Financial Big data – where, when, and how people spend their money
- Mobile payments, banking, money transfers, and other financial services