How did the MENA countries land among the world’s leaders in digitalization? All they need is… a mobile phone
When you say you’re building fintech in the Middle East, Westerners usually think of the strict Sharia banking rules and think it must be terribly complicated. But when you build ventures for banks in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), you’re in for exactly the opposite type of culture shock. E-Government there has made such progress during Covid-19 that we can be envious. Even financial applications under the tightest security are simpler, more user-friendly, and faster.
The first big difference — in KSA they don’t have traditional physical ID documents as we know them in Europe. Personal identity is electronic, linked to a mobile phone number. “This makes it incredibly easy to identify customers and authorize their requests even in the most secure applications,” praises Ales Zarsky, leader of the fintech venture supporting SMEs…
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