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MEA Finance and Swift partner to present The Leaders in Banking Technology Kuwait Summit 2023.

Honing in on the nation’s banking and financial sector, the event brought leaders from Kuwait’s banks together with regional technology and fintech market makers to debate the growth and development of financial technology and market modernisation this leading GCC economy.

Senior executives from Kuwait’s banking and financial services sector joined regional leaders from those technology and fintech businesses who are at the forefront of building the region’s new financial landscape, in a series of engrossing and highly informative debates, conversations and presentations on events at the leading edge of the nation’s banking sector.

Taking place at the Four Seasons Hotel, Kuwait City, on the 25th of October, MEA Finance partnered with Swift, world leaders in financial messaging, powering most international money and security transfers, to host this very special event that concentrated on Kuwait’s banking technology and payments environment and the developments shaping the modernisation of financial activity in the country.

Almost 300 delegates attended, avidly concentrating on the thoughts and insights provided by more than thirty highly involved players in this exciting market. Covering issues ranging across local and cross-border payments, cyber security, the merging of banking and technology and how such progress can now provide an edge in the increasingly competitive regional banking world.

The event was sponsored by Fineksus as Gold Sponsor and First Abu Dhabi Bank, Allied Engineering Group (AEG), Mindgate, Smartstream Technologies,Xpence, Dixio as Silver Sponsors.

Agenda of the event as below…

Welcome Note: Onur Ozan, MD, Regional Head, Middle East, North Africa & Turkiye, Swift

Panel 1: Payments in Kuwait – the development of payments and role of banking technology in Kuwait

The Central Bank of Kuwait recently along with different payments players in Kuwait have worked on different initiatives with major aim is to update processes and improve the efficiency payments in the country. They also issued the regulatory Sandbox Framework document to help foster innovation in products and services in payments. How far has Kuwait come in recent years in the development of payments and adoption of banking technology? How does the country compare with the rest of the GCC in these terms and what can we expect to witness here in the coming years?


  • Mohammad Al Kharafi, Chief Operating Officer, National Bank of Kuwait
  • Esam Alkheshnam, Chief Executive Officer, KNET
  • Bushra Al Wazzan, Group Chief Internal Auditor, Boubyan Bank
  • Moderator: Onur Ozan, MD, Regional Head, Middle East, North Africa & Turkiye, Swift

In conversation with Al Ahli Bank Kuwait and Swift

  • Abdullah Al-Qattan, Executive Manager,  Operations Division – Retail & Payments, Al Ahli Bank Kuwait
  • Alaa AlRousan,  Senior Account Director, Swift

Panel 2: The Evolution of Cross Border Payments – balancing enhancement, regulation and security

Why is it more essential than before that cross-border payments are quicker, frictionless and more efficient? What is in place and which developments are on the horizon to enhance the cross-border payments experience for businesses and the public alike? Can and should cross border always be faster and what should be in place to balance smoothness and speed with jurisdictional regulation and security?


  • Fahad Al Bader, GM – Operations, Kuwait International Bank
  • Abdulaziz Al Duwailah, Head of Banking Operations Group, Boubyan Bank
  • Finali Fernando, Managing Director, Regional Head of Products, CCO and Business Management , HSBC
  • Pritesh Kotecha,  SVP, MEASA, Smartstream Technologies
  • Anand Sampath, Managing Director,  Head- Payments, Collections & Client Implementation, First Abu Dhabi Bank
  • Tuncay Coruh, Product Development Director, Fineksus
  • Moderator: Cem Soydemir, Head of Payments Go-to-Market, MEA South & Central Asia, Swift

In conversation with: Shaping Cross-Border Payment Scene in the Arab World and Beyond

  • Onur Ozan, MD, Regional Head, Middle East, North Africa & Turkiye, Swift
  • Faisal Alhijawi, Chief Strategy and Development Officer, BUNA

Case Study Presentation:  Cyber Security in Banking and Finance

  • Adrien Sicoli, Chief Growth Officer, Dixio
  • Guy Aoun, Senior Business Development Executive, Dixio

Panel 3: Competitors, Vendors & Partners – The line continues to blur

With another year of accelerating digitalisation and further application of fintech behind us, the once clear definitions between competitors, vendors and partners across the banking and finance landscape continue to dissolve, evolving new business models, new dynamics and relationships. The session will debate the actions and preparedness of financial institutions, examine their attitude toward the newly forming realities and assess how to best leverage the changing market environment.


  • Mohammad Al Zayed, General Manager – Operations, Burgan Bank
  • Abdullah Al Mutawaa, Assistant General Manager – Head of Funds Transfer & Wealth Management, National Bank of Kuwait
  • Talib Sanad, Head of AEG Bahrain, Allied Engineering Group (AEG)
  • Hamad Al Fouzan, Chief Strategy Officer, Warba Bank
  • Omar Amireh, CEO – Kuwait, Citi
  • Moderator: Saad Ansari, CEO & Co-founder, Xpence

Case Study Presentation: Banking as a Service – The What and the How

  • Balaji Muthu, Executive Director – MENA, Mindgate Solutions

 Case Study Presentation: Cross-Border Payments in Kuwait

  • Serkan Arslan, Director of Sales and Business Development, Fineksus

Panel 4: How Can Technology Provide an Edge in Banking? Honing your effectiveness

In day-to-day banking, digital processes are effectively the norm, having consigned old form banking practices to history. The way to distinguish your retail bank and hone and edge in the market leans on innovation backed by technology and partnerships with fintechs. But beyond the retail sector, how will technology take a bigger role in commercial and wholesale banking? How will technology change the specialist provision of wealth management services? This session will focus on how technology can continue to improve competitiveness, yield better results to retail banks and provide similar advantages in the broader financial landscape.


  • Balaji Muthu, Executive Director – MENA, Mindgate Solutions
  • Philip Koshy , General Manager, Al Mulla Exchange
  • Barrak Al Mattar, CIO, Burgan Bank
  • Moderator: Saad Ansari, CEO & Co-founder, Xpence