Emirates NBD and DIFC FinTech Hive enter fifth year of partnership to nurture FinTech ecosystem in UAE

Strategic collaboration to support FinTechs, drive innovation and develop the FinTech ecosystem in the region

Emirates NBD has marked its fifth year of engagement with DIFC FinTech Hive, the largest financial technology hub in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region and part of Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), successfully completing two sprints of its FinTech accelerator programme.

Emirates NBD has been in partnership with DIFC FinTech Hive since 2017, supporting start-ups to transform their ideas into working prototypes, resulting in numerous successful integrations. In 2020, Emirates NBD announced the successful integration with Norbloc, a global leader in blockchain KYC technology and participant of 2017 FinTech Accelerator Programme, for the UAE KYC Blockchain Platform. Other successful integrations include with JigSaw, SmartEngine, Vision Labs, Verrency and Kasisto.

The FinTech Accelerator 2021 was run as a hybrid format with two innovation sprints, from May-June and September-October, offering flexible participation during the year. Through these cohorts, the bank was on the lookout for solutions utilizing Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and other advanced technologies in compliance and payments, directly impacting customer experience and straight-through processing (STP) and selected four FinTechs for the next stage of deep dive. Participants fulfilling the outlined criteria will go forward to the next stage for deeper discussions with respective business units around business model, technology, proof of concept etc.

As part of its partnership with DIFC FinTech Hive, Emirates NBD was also a key partner of AccelerateHer, a female-focused career mentorship program targeted at developing young women in the industry professionally and personally.

“We are delighted to strengthen our collaboration with the DIFC FinTech Hive for the fifth year, working towards our common goal of encouraging and supporting young promising Fintech start-ups. As a pioneer of innovation in the region’s banking sector, Emirates NBD has always had its finger on the pulse of innovation, looking to experiment and partner with players in the FinTech ecosystem.” said Abdulla Qassem, Group Chief Operating Officer, Emirates NBD, commenting on the announcement.

He added, “With the support of the DIFC FinTech Hive, Emirates NBD is constantly looking to discover and launch relevant FinTechs, who can help us accelerate our digital transformation journey and develop solutions that optimise not just customer experience but also our internal operations. We look forward to playing an active role in encouraging innovative partnerships in the UAE and the wider region and are excited to see further collaborations develop and thrive.”

Raja Al Mazrouei, Executive Vice President, DIFC Fintech Hive, said, “Emirates NBD has been our partner from the very beginning, and every year we see more of a drive for digital transformation and acceleration. The structure of our FinTech Accelerator sprints allows us to directly address our partners’ priority areas through accessing the most innovative FinTech solutions from all around the world. This year, Emirates NBD had access to a pool of 44 FinTech solutions and we are pleased to have hosted a pitch day for Emirates NBD to select the solutions they would like to take forward and work with. We look forward to continuing our fruitful partnership with the bank.”