Press Release

Digging Deeper into Resilient and Agile Transformation Strategies – Finnovex Middle East 2021

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RAKBANK, Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), SmartStream, Network International L.L.C, Backbase, Abaka, Smartmessage, Confluent, Appway, IDS Fintech, Creatio, Smart Middle East Ltd, Faloos were well-represented at the 3rd Annual Edition of Finnovex Middle East to champion the conversation on what the future holds for the banking and financial sector in the Middle Eastern region.

The Leading Summit on Financial Services Innovation and Excellence, which kicked off from the 7th – 8th September 2021 was held in-person at Conrad Dubai and the host’s virtual platform witnessed the attendance of 1000+ CEOs, CDO’s, COO’s, CIOs, CISOs, CTOs, CRO’s Senior Vice Presidents, Vice Presidents, Directors, and Heads of departments from the Banking and FI industry.

This spectacular event was very timely as it highlighted the imperative to endow the digital future of the region by developing and leveraging new technological solutions in data, advanced analytics, digital and new delivery platform. 

Insights were dished out with a blend of fireside chats, panel discussions, and expert presentations. Industry thought-leaders explored trailblazing topics, which included – Open Banking and API’s; AI; Cloud Automation; Digital Transformation; Cyber Security & Risk Management; Omnichannel Payments Revolutionizing; Data Analytics & et al.

The Conference Chair, Pritesh B. Kotecha, Senior Vice President – Europe, Middle East & Africa at SmartStream highlighted how timely the conversation was in relation to his role played within the industry wealth of experience in relation to the current digital disruption era.

At the Speaking Session of Frederic De Melker, Managing Director – Personal Banking at RAKBANK, buttressed the fact that at the moment the “Middle Man” in the service delivery process is dead. He further advised anyone seeing to still get a middle man needs to digitalise him. If banks want to succeeds & remain relevant decentralization is key.

RAKBANK, also known as the National Bank of Ras Al Khaimah (P.J.S.C), is one of the oldest and most dynamic banks in the UAE. Founded in 1976, the Bank underwent a major transformation in 2001, with a shift in focus from Corporate Banking to Personal and Business Banking. Today, the Bank offers a wide range of personal and business banking services throughout its 38 branches and its portfolio of electronic banking solutions, which include Telephone and Digital Banking. It also offers Sharia-compliant personal and business banking services via its Islamic Banking unit, RAKislamic.

In tandem, Salmaan Jaffery, Chief Business Development Officer at DIFC Authority highlighted the future of finance strategy as the driver of the entire Fintech Industry. He also talked about the DIFC’s collaboration with Government and Private Sector Entities.

The Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is the “Numero Uno” financial centre for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, providing a world-class platform connecting this region’s markets with the economies of Europe, Asia and the Americas. It also is facilitating the growth in South-South trade and investment flows. An onshore, international financial centre, DIFC provides a stable, mature and secure base for financial institutions to develop their wholesale businesses.

Roland Brandli, Strategic Product Manager at Smartstream made mention of the disruptive impact of the “Instant” phenomenon within the banking IT landscapes. He further highlighted the impact of the “Instant” trend on Banking Technology providers and stakeholders.

SmartStream is a recognised leader in financial transaction management solutions that enables firms to improve operational control, reduce costs, build new revenue streams, mitigate risk and comply accurately with regulations.

The Summit format consisted of speaker presentations and panel discussions, among the panel and presentation speakers included – Saqib Khan || Regional Sales Head · Middle East at Backbase, Ahmed Bin Tarraf || Regional President – UAE at Network International, Fahd Rachidy | Founder and Chief Executive Officer Abaka, Murat Guner || Regional Manager, MEA, at Smartmessage, Abdullah Ahmad || Regional Sales Manager, KSA, at Smartmessage. They deliberated on how banking and financial institutions are evolving and their adaptation to Digital Disruption in an efficiently AGILE and digital way.

Futhermore, the Finnovex Middle East Awards took place on the sidelines of the first-half of the event to recognise and appreciate the effort of over 10 individuals, institutions and service providers within the field of Banking and Financial Services Industry. The Awards seek to honour the pioneers and visionaries who have transformed the overall banking and financial services industry.

Finnovex Awards Winners include:

EXCELLENCE IN PAYMENTS – Magnati

EXCELLENCE IN MOBILE BANKING – Bank Al bilad

EXCELLENCE IN NEOBANK – Mashreq

EXCELLENCE IN ISLAMIC BANKING – Dubai Islamic Bank

EXCELLENCE IN RETAIL BANKING – Commercial Bank of Dubai

EXCELLENCE IN DIGITAL ONBOARDING   – Appway

DIGITAL PAYMENTS SOLUTION PROVIDER OF THE YEAR – SmartStream

EXCELLENCE IN DIGITAL BANKING- UAE – Emirates NBD

EXCELLENCE IN DIGITAL BANKINGKSA – Riyad Bank

EXCELLENCE IN EMERGING FINTECH – Skiply by RAKBANK

EXCELLENCE IN CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE ENHANCEMENT – Backbase

RISING START UP OF THE YEAR – Up for Jobs

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO FINTECH SOLUTIONS INITIATIVES – Abaka

Finnovator Of the Year –Middle East – Frederic de Melker – Managing Director Personal Banking – RAKBANK UAE

Finfluencer of the Year – Amit Malhotra, General Manager- Personal Banking Group, Commercial Bank of Dubai

CEO of the Year – Massimo Falcioni, Chief Executive Officer, Etihad Credit Insurance (ECI)

OUTSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO STRATEGIC NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES – Dr. Zerak Saleh, Chief Operating Officer Finance, Saudi British Bank, Saudi Arabia

CDO The Year – Ali Ghuloom, Head of Digitization and Projects Management at National Bank of Bahrain

CIO of the Year – Dr. Joseph George, CIO-Head of Information Systems & Technology, National Bank of Fujairah, UAE

CISO of the Year – Mohammed Ahmed Al Doseri, Chief Information Security Officer, Tasheel Finance, Saudi Arabia

CISO of the YearUAE – Illyas Kooliyankal, Chief Information Security Officer, Abu Dhabi  Islamic bank,UAE

CTO of the year – Ellis Wang, Senior Executive Vice President, Group Head of Technology, Transformation and Information, Mashreq Bank

CMO of the year – Caroline Bertrand, Chief Marketing, Digital and Customer Experience Officer, AXA Gulf, UAE

Digital Personality of The Year – Olivier Crespin, Chief Executive Officer, Zand, UAE

Finnovex is excellently dedicated to examining the Future of Financial Services on how disruptive innovations are reshaping the way they are structured, made available and consumed. 

The Finnovex Global series, which is organised by Exibex, examines the prospects of the overall Financial Services industry and how disruptive innovations are reshaping the way they are structured, provisioned and consumed. The Finnovex series of global Summits highlights thought leadership on cutting-edge issues with long-term implications to the industry and lays a concrete foundation for multi-stakeholder dialogues that explores the potential of these innovations to transform the overall financial ecosystem as well as the risks and opportunities that could emerge from shifts in the way financial services are designed, delivered and used in the future.

For more information on the Finnovex Summit editions coming up globally within the West African region in 2021, visit – Finnovex

If you would like to sponsor or be our event partner for any of our upcoming series, please send an email to [email protected]

About Exibex

Exibex is an excellent market leader in producing knowledge-based conferences; managing events and in-depth business consulting. The team provides innovative and engaging networking platforms to create and engage the principal C-level communities of global corporations. The platforms enable acceleration of both individual, and organisational performance, to benefit global business leaders. They comprehend the challenges organisations face in this volatile and uncertain market, to help your core revenue generation teams by building a complete 360-degree package tailored to your business strategies, goals and needs. 

For More Information:

Tolulope Folaranmi | Regional Marketing Manager – Exibex
E: [email protected]

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Tech Junkie is a small word for Vikas Kaushik. Whether the latest game on the market or a new gadget launch he is the go-to person. He drives his motivation from the fast-paced technological advancements. He ensures that the right news reaches niche audiences. An avid biker and movie buff he has deep-rooted faith in upcoming technological inventions and is a torchbearer for the tech revolution.

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