Bankers, regulators and FinTech experts from around the world had a very successful meeting at the 1st AFS Middle East and Africa FinTech Forum, held in Bahrain under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain and supported by Bank ABC and Bahrain Economic Development Board. The event was also sponsored by Visa, GBM and ai Corp.
This was the first ever regional FinTech forum held in Bahrain. His Excellency the Central Bank of Bahrain Governor inaugurated the Forum and delivered an insightful keynote speech highlighting the importance of FinTech and the necessity for banks to adopt innovative FinTech solutions to provide a better customer experience.
The Chairman of AFS, Sael Al Waary, stressed on the urgency for banks to partner with FinTech enablers. Highlighting some case studies of companies who did not innovate, Sael mentioned that AFS is ready to partner with banks to provide FinTech solutions including digital disruptions.
Susanne Chishti, the author of FinTech Circle, spoke on the success of FinTech hub in other parts of the world and was hopeful that Bahrain would soon adopt a similar model with the support of the Central Bank.
Other notable speakers from PayTM India, FSS, Visa, McKinsey, IBM and ai Corp also spoke about the technological innovations that are happening at a rapid pace across many of the world’s largest markets; and explained how the region could learn and implement some of these solutions.
There were panel discussions around the cashless economies and FinTech start-ups, setting the scene for FinTech investments in the region.
B Chandrasekhar, CEO of AFS, commented that AFS was proud to organize this Forum which has resulted in a lot of ideas for the banks in the region to partner with FinTech firms and AFS is well positioned as a FinTech enabler to help the banks bridge the gap in a quick time. AFS has already launched the first frictionless payments solution in Bahrain and has plans to roll this out across other markets. AFS would also be making strategic investments and forging partnerships with FinTech firms.