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Saudi Arabia Bets Big on Fintech; Sberbank Unveils Russian Supercomputer

As Finovate goes increasingly global, so does our coverage of financial technology. Finovate Global is our weekly look at fintech innovation in developing economies in Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and Central and Eastern Europe.

Fresh off a successful return to Singapore for FinovateAsia, we are happy to announce that FinovateMiddleEast will be back in Dubai later this month, November 20 and 21. For more information about our upcoming fintech conference in the UAE, visit our FinovateMiddleEast page today.

Middle East and Northern Africa

  • Saudi Arabia’s Riyad Bank invests $26.7 million in new fintech startup investment program.
  • BankDhofar signs partnership agreement with Oman-based fintech TelyPay.
  • Central Bank of UAE considers new fintech office to help drive innovation in financial services.

Central and Southern Asia

  • A new B2B fintech program for Indian fintechs, FT Slingshot, launched at Hong Kong FinTech Week.
  • Mumbai, India’s financial capital, is seeking to establish itself as the countr’s fintech hub, as well.
  • Eight Indian fintechs, including Paytm and OlaMoney, earn spots in the KPMG and H2 Ventures Fintech 100 list.

Latin America and the Caribbean

  • Mexican cryptoexchange Bitrus introduces new e-wallet geared toward unbanked population.
  • Creditas, a Brazilian digital consumer lending platform, opens new offices in Valencia, Spain.
  • Born2Invest looks at the growth of the fintech sector in Argentina.


  • Tandem Bank, a challenger bank based in the U.K., announces plans for an expansion to Hong Kong.
  • Vietnam’s TPBank forges agreement with Ripple’s RippleNet.
  • International visitors to China have access to a new prepaid card service run by Alipay and supported by Bank of Shanghai.

Sub-Saharan Africa

  • South African fintech iKhokha offers a blunt assessment of the country’s struggle to attract the talent necessary to grow its fintech industry.
  • The U.K. announces plans to deepen fintech partnership with Nigeria and other Africa nations.
  • Andrew Takyi-Appiah, CEO of Ghana-based Zeepay, talks about the business of remittances and its recent partnership with Moneygram.

Central and Eastern Europe

  • Romanian fintech Beez goes live in the U.K.
  • Fiserv inks global agreement with German grocery industry leader ALDI.
  • Sberbank introduces Russia’s fastest supercomputer, the Christofari.

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