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February 20, 2024
What is driving the meteoric rise of digital banking in Saudi Arabia?
CREALOGIX Blog - What is driving the meteoric rise of digital banking in Saudi Arabia?
Digital Banking
Digital Transformation
CREALOGIX Yannick Decaumont
Yannick Decaumont
Managing Director Mediterranean & Middle East

Over the past few years, Saudi Arabia has experienced a transformation in its banking and financial technology sectors. The impressive growth of fintech can’t be attributed to a single market driver. A combination of factors is both supporting and accelerating the growth of the sector as the country emerges as a leader in digital banking services.

Strategic and regulatory support

The ambitious Vision 2030, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has been at the heart of the digital transformation, powering Saudi Arabia towards a leading role in the global economy. Vision 2030 puts the banking sector at the heart of the transformation and the wholesale embrace of digital services; while this has already brought about the first stage of digital transformation, further acceleration in the fintech space is a key objective. 

The growth of financial technology in Saudi Arabia is supported by government initiatives to encourage innovation and investment. Fintech companies are transforming payment systems, lending, and investment platforms, among others, thanks to financial backing and government support. In addition, regulatory bodies have introduced a complete framework for the fintech sector, which gives priority to consumer protection, cybersecurity, and healthy competition. This both improves customer service and ensures a level playing field.

Financial inclusion and the influence of customer expectations

Online banking, mobile apps and digital wallets are now an integral part of the banking experience and offer a more convenient way for customers to make transactions and manage accounts. Now, improving the customer experience has become a key priority for banks, using cutting-edge technologies such as AI-powered chatbots and customised financial recommendations through data analytics. These innovations not only streamline processes, but also foster customer loyalty.

Opening a bank account is now available online, removing the necessity to visit the bank personally. Customers can easily register through banking apps on their phones or websites, opening an account in a few minutes. This means financial inclusion has expanded through mobile banking, providing access to financial services, credit, and insurance to those who were previously excluded. A key part of the success of the programme is because digital transformation is not limited to urban areas but extends to rural regions and previously underserved populations. 

One innovation leads to another

One interesting factor in KSA’s digital transformation is that first wave is triggering more innovation as more sectors and markets recognise and seek to capitalise on the opportunity. For example, following the advances in retail banking, both the Corporate and SME banking sectors are following suit. 

We expect that Wealth Management will be the next piece of the puzzle that financial institutions will seek to address with digital transformation. We expect this to happen later this year or by early 2025. This is in part because the full transformation cannot be achieved without tapping into the wealth and asset management space. It will also be brought about by customer demand as the Kingdom becomes more established as a financial centre and people in the region build wealth. 

Collaboration is the key to the future of fintech

Collaboration between traditional banks and fintech companies is crucial in this dynamic landscape. CREALOGIX, as a prominent player in digital banking solutions, recognizes the importance of this collaborative approach. Working together, banks and fintech firms can drive innovation, improve customer experience, and contribute to the continued growth and success of the financial sector in Saudi Arabia.

As the Kingdom embraces digital transformation, the power of digital banking lies not only in the advanced solutions developed by individual banks, but also in these customer-focussed collaborative efforts that shape the future of finance. Through partnerships, investments in innovation and support for regulatory developments, the financial sector, led by visionary solutions providers such as CREALOGIX, holds the key to unlocking the full potential of digital banking in Saudi Arabia.

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