The Saudi Islamic financial technology (fintech) market is the largest globally, estimated to be worth $17.8 billion in transaction volume, and projected to grow to $47.5 billion by 2025, according to an industry report.
The Global Islamic Fintech (GIFT) Report was conducted jointly by DinarStandard, an Islamic economic management consultancy, and Elipses, a finance advisory and investment firm, and looks at the fintech market across the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) countries.
The GIFT index analyzed 64 countries and applied 32 indicators across five different categories for each country: Talent; regulation; infrastructure; Islamic fintech market and ecosystem; and capital.
Categories were weighted in order to derive an overall score, with a heavier weighting given to the categories deemed to drive conduciveness to Islamic fintech specifically.
Abdul Haseeb Basit, co-founder and principal at Elipses and the report’s author, said the report showed that the Islamic fintech sector was “steadily developing” with “strong pockets” of activity across the globe.
“Most encouraging are the developments in OIC countries where large target markets exist. The number of fintechs identified is more than double the amount first identified three years ago, demonstrating the rapid expansion in this sector which is set to continue growing at an accelerating pace,” he said.
Saudi Arabia ranked second in the GIFT Index and had the largest estimated Islamic fintech market size in 2020. Valued at $17.9 billion, it is expected to grow by 22 percent annually to reach $47.5 billion by 2025.
Nejoud Almulaik, director of Fintech Saudi, an initiative launched by the Saudi Central Bank and the Capital Market Authority, was pleased about Saudi Arabia being recognized as having the largest Islamic fintech market size.
“Fintech Saudi continues to work with all the relevant stakeholders in the Kingdom to develop an environment in which Islamic fintech companies can prosper and become global leaders in driving Islamic fintech innovation,” she said.