Underlining its central role in driving the region’s digital economy, Mastercard, a leading technology company in the global payments industry, has participated in ArabNet Riyadh 2018, a leading industry event exploring the latest trends and innovations in the fintech sector. Mastercard sponsored the ‘Finverse’ stream of the event, which took a deep dive into the innovation strategies that regional banks are pursuing to capture future opportunities and highlighted the vast potential of Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things (IoT) and Big Data in the region’s digital transformation.
Mastercard’s General Manager for Saudi Arabia and Bahrain, J.K. Khalil, participated in a fireside chat with Esam Alnahdi, CEO of HalalaH. Moderated by Sonia Weymuller, Director of BIAC Investments and Partner at VentureSouq, the session focused on the ways in which banks and fintechs can collaborate to unlock fresh opportunities. Meanwhile, Kamran Shahin, Vice President for Blockchain Product Development and Innovation at Mastercard Labs – MEA, delivered a keynote address on the Transformative Potential of Blockchain.
The well-attended sessions enabled Mastercard to showcase initiatives such as the Mastercard Start Path program, which provides opportunities for promising startups to connect with key financial services and commerce players and develop innovative new products and solutions. Since launching, the program has evaluated roughly 2,000 startups per year and engaged more than 150 of them around the world.