Fintech Surge to Unleash Financial Innovation

Fintech Surge 2023, the most sought after gathering for the global fintech industry, will take place on 15-18 October at the iconic Dubai Harbour. Co-located with Expand North Star and the hub for global fintech stakeholders, the event will host more than 100 exhibitors from over 25 countries, providing a platform to scale up the deeply interconnected fintech ecosystem.

Having witnessed unprecedented transformation in recent years, the global fintech market is expected to grow to $949 billion by 2030, registering a CAGR of 17.2% between 2022 and 2030[1]. Driven by emerging digital technologies, changing consumer behaviours, lower regulations for financial services provided by non-banks and increased investments, start-ups are now challenging traditional banks and fintech innovation is accelerating at pace.

The launch of a 100.7 million USD venture capital finance fund by His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Mohammed, Crown Prince of Dubai, is fuelling start-ups on their global expansion, and the Emirate's leading regulatory framework continues to evolve to match the industry's evolution.

Trixe LohMirmand, Executive Vice President of Dubai World Trade Centre, comments: "Fintech Surge is the epicentre of technological revolution. Gathering some of the industry's brightest and most inventive minds, it is where multifaceted discussions evolve into actionable insights that investors and entrepreneurs can effectively leverage. It's the destination that ignites strategic cross-border partnerships that will transform the fintech industry, and where we move beyond mere catchphrases and turn AI and big data into tangible actions."

Fintech Surge will offer two conference tracks where more than 80 global leaders will discuss the trends propelling the sector. Having witnessed a seismic shift, the fintech industry now faces multiple challenges including security breaches, compliance with varying global government regulations, user retention, lack of mobile and tech expertise, among others. The Digital Banking and Finance Summit will address these head on, providing insights on how fintechs across the globe can capitalise on the market growth and forge a prosperous future.

Prominent speakers from leading organisations, including Swift, Klarna, Mastercard, Morgan Stanley, World Economic Forum, Standard Chartered Nexus and IFC (World Bank), will share their unmatched wisdom to navigate the rapidly evolving landscape. The agenda will cover global strategy and governance, digital trends influencing the future of retail, embedded finance and capitalising on global and regional investment funds, among other essential topics.

Fintech Surge also serves as a dynamic launch pad for global start-ups. As limited access to funding and digital financial literacy remain significant challenges for SMEs, the brand new SME Elevate programme will offer strategic guidance, investment insights, partnership opportunities, and advice to navigate these. Leaders from around the world will discuss trailblazing innovations driving SMEs, highlight fintech's transformative potential for small business financing and uncover how to navigate the rapidly evolving landscape and more.

Nosaibah Alrajhi, Founder and CEO at Forus Invest, comments: "Improving SMEs access to finance and providing innovative solutions to navigate the complexities of the financial world is critical, and we are committed to revolutionising the way individuals and businesses manage their finances. Fintech Surge presents an excellent platform for us to engage with the sharpest minds in the industry and showcase how we are empowering SMEs and connecting investors, through easier access to business finance solutions and investments."

As the industry-defining platform for financial innovations and with more than 1,000 investors expected to attend, Fintech Surge remains a leading platform for the global fintech ecosystem. For the 2023 edition, sponsors include industry-leading organisations Mastercard, Emirates NBD, Geidea Technology LLC, FINTX and Forus Invest, among others. Register interest at

World Financial Innovation Series Oct 2023

Tech innovations are transforming organizations across sectors and are especially causing massive paradigm shifts in the financial services industry. In the wake of the situation, the world’s largest archipelago is propelling forward with its digital economy and has already produced multiple fintech unicorns.

While the 90 million unbanked Indonesians are the sure catalysts behind fintech’s growth, more and more companies are now also leveraging the favorable regulatory changes brought in by Bank Indonesia and the Financial Services Authority (OJK). The latter has even launched "Master Plan for the Indonesian Financial Services Sector (MPSJKI) 2021-2025" to further favor the developments.

Imbibing the opportunities arising from Indonesia’s current situation and to provide a direct gateway to its flourishing fintech market, the country’s most reputed annual FSI event, World Financial Innovation Series (WFIS) is coming back on 24 – 25 October 2023 at The Ritz-Carlton Jakarta, Pacific Place along with an Awards & Gala Night to reward and celebrate the best of FSI.

With all major financial institutions looking to upgrade their structure with added digital offerings, Indonesia has now become a utopia for technology vendors. This is where WFIS comes across as the best fit for bridging the gap between financial institutions and technology organizations.

As for the upcoming 5th annual edition, the platform will host more than 700 technology & business heads from the leading Banks, Insurance & Micro-Finance institutions across the country. On the other side to calm the massive number of inquisitive delegates, majority of whom are seen procuring solutions every year, the platform will feature the most cutting-edge fintech solutions showcased by none other than the leading industry players.

Some of the exhibiting companies who have already confirmed their spot at the platform include Newgen, 8x8, iProov, Provenir, OutSystems, Perkasa, FEITIAN Technologies, IntellectAI, OpenText™ AI Cloud, Reward360 and others.

While expressing his views on the current status of the Financial Services Industry, one of the key speakers for the platform, Samuel Mulyono (Chief Data Protection Officer (CDPO) and Head of Cyber & Product Risk Assurance Group, Nobu Bank) stated, “While technology is an important part of digital transformation in Banking and Financial Services, solutions implemented in the past often focused on poorly designed and implemented technology resulting in high costs and limited value. Organizations often struggle to meet compliance demands and threats, and solutions are limited. I believe that today Financial Services are interconnected and related to global risks that may be inside or outside the information system. Cybersecurity and Data Privacy in Financial Services require innovation-based solutions.”

He further added, “I see that this conference is necessary for professionals who are increasingly dealing with many interconnected digital and global innovations.”

With a carefully tailored agenda, the event will also power a conference hall for companies and experts to project their thought leadership in the region and address the most pressing issues faced by the industry.

Another key speaker, Edisono Limin (Executive Director, Country Head of Channels & Digitalisation, UOB) gave a brief comment on the platform, “Attending World Financial Innovation Series is a good opportunity to absorb the latest information and knowledge from experts and help us on our digital transformation journey”.

The curation of topics for the conference has always been an important highlight. Some of the next-gen topics being covered this year include, ‘Future-proofing Indonesia's Digital Banking Strategy’, ‘Empowering FIs with Cloud’, ‘Full-Suite Mobile Banking’, ‘Neo-Banks’, ‘Increasing Adoption of Biometrics’, ‘Transforming Banking with Low-Code No-Code’ and many others.

When asked about how Indonesia has shaped up to become one of the most favorable grounds for WFIS, Organizer & CEO of Tradepass, Sudhir Ranjan Jena expressed, “Indonesia is a live testimony to the platform’s continuous efforts towards fostering collaboration between the biggest financial institutions and the best-in-class technology providers. The active participation of key government officials, most renowned FSI personalities and the leading technology experts to forge a synergetic environment is the reason why World Financial Innovation Series returns every year to the archipelagic state.”

KuCoin Sustaining Robust Growth With 29 Million Users

KuCoin, the People's Exchange, proudly announces the first half of 2023 (H1 2023) accomplishments, highlighting exceptional growth and innovation in the face of challenging market conditions. Despite the crypto market fluctuation, KuCoin maintained strong growth and proactively adopted regulatory requirements to enhance the user experience and trust.

Key Achievements from KuCoin’s H1 2023 review:

- Impressive user base expansion and steady trading volume increase: KuCoin's user base expanded by 26% YoY, reaching 29 million registered users by June 2023, led by the LATAM region. Trading volume across spot and futures markets hit $1 trillion, driven by growth in various regions. The KuCoin Trading Bot saw substantial growth, with 12 million bots created and a trading volume exceeding 5.7 billion USDT in H1 2023.

- Safety and Security: At KuCoin, the safety and security of users' assets are of paramount importance. KuCoin has implemented comprehensive security measures to ensure the protection of sensitive data and user funds. This includes industry-standard encryption algorithms, multi-factor authentication for all user accounts, and the majority of client funds stored in cold wallets for enhanced security. Additionally, KuCoin has launched the largest bug bounty program in collaboration with cybersecurity company Hacken, offering $1 million in bug bounty awards, further reinforcing the platform's commitment to maintaining a secure trading environment. Meanwhile, KuCoin is implementing Mandatory KYC, to enhance security and foster a safer trading environment for all users.

- Trust and Transparency: KuCoin continues to prioritize trust and transparency by publishing its Proof of Reserves (PoR) data. As one of the first major global crypto exchanges to do so, KuCoin regularly updates its PoR information, assuring users that their funds are fully backed. The latest snapshot from June 30, 2023, reveals a BTC reserve ratio of 104%, ETH reserve ratio of 115%, USDT reserve ratio of 105%, and USDC reserve ratio of 114%. This data confirms KuCoin's commitment to maintaining a high collateralization ratio, ensuring the safety and integrity of user assets.

- Global expansion: KuCoin welcomed over 300 new team members globally, fostering deeper engagement with the global crypto community. The exchange's global communities and social media presence grew, with a 20% increase in user engagement and a Twitter following of 2.5 million.

"In the first half of 2023, KuCoin has showcased an exceptional dedication to innovation, trust, and customer satisfaction. We prioritize outstanding customer support, successfully addressing over 300,000 user inquiries by harnessing the power of an AI-driven chatbot between January to June 2023. Trust and transparency form the bedrock of KuCoin's values, as demonstrated by our stringent anti-fraud measures and the regular release of Proof of Reserves data, ensuring our users that their assets are securely safeguarded. Our commitment to ongoing progress is evident through the addition of 89 new assets, the remarkable expansion of the KuCoin Trading Bot, and the upcoming debut of KuCoin Learn, 6th year anniversary with product and brand upgradation, an indispensable resource for crypto enthusiasts. As we forge ahead, KuCoin remains devoted to empowering our users and fostering the growth of a flourishing crypto ecosystem for generations to come." - Johnny Lyu, CEO of KuCoin

About KuCoin

Launched in September 2017, KuCoin is a global cryptocurrency exchange with its operational headquarters in Seychelles. As a user-oriented platform with a focus on inclusiveness and community action reach, it offers over 700 digital assets and currently provides spot trading, margin trading, P2P fiat trading, futures trading, staking, and lending to its 29 million users in 207 countries and regions.

In 2022, KuCoin raised over $150 million in investments through a pre-Series B round, bringing total investments to $170 million with Round A combined, at a total valuation of $10 billion. KuCoin is currently one of the top 5 crypto exchanges according to CoinMarketCap. Forbes also named KuCoin one of the Best Crypto Exchanges in 2023. In 2022, The Ascent named KuCoin the Best Crypto App for enthusiasts.

Dubai FinTech Summit Confirms Second Edition on May 2024

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region, today announced the second edition of Dubai FinTech Summit to be held on 6-7 May 2024. Under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Maktoum bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, First Deputy Ruler of Dubai, Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Finance of the UAE, and President of the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the first edition of the summit concluded with resounding success, with a remarkable turnout of 5,300 visitors from 92 countries.

As the population transitions from cash to digital payment methods, the inaugural Dubai FinTech Summit highlighted the importance of accelerated investment in digital banking services, e-commerce websites, and contactless payments. According to co-host sponsor, Visa, four in five consumers surveyed in the UAE would switch merchants based on the payment methods offered, with most preferring digital payments over cash.

"It's been incredible to witness the Dubai FinTech Summit succeed in becoming a powerful platform for showcasing innovation, developing meaningful dialogue around the issues and challenges facing our industry and creating engagement on the future of FinTech, all in its maiden edition. We have marked a significant milestone for FinTech in the region, as Dubai emerges as a leading hub for innovation and entrepreneurship," said Mohammad AlBlooshi, CEO of DIFC Innovation Hub. "With the industry growing at an unprecedented pace, the 2024 Dubai FinTech Summit will provide an invaluable platform for industry leaders and experts to come together, discuss opportunities, and draw the blueprint that will continue to guide the future of finance," he added.

A platform for collaboration

Dubai FinTech Summit 2023 saw over 20 MoUs signed with global financial leaders, with

DIFC inking 12 MoUs during the Summit alone, with global powerhouses of finance and technology, including Standard Chartered Bank, due to launch digital asset custody services (subject to regulatory approval) to cater to institutional clients globally.

Expansion and growth

Showcasing the significant growth and potential of the FinTech sector in the region, Brad Garlinghouse, CEO of Ripple, a leading crypto solutions provider, announced company's plans to expand into the region. With 20 per cent of its customers being MENA-based, Ripple is choosing to leverage the city's forward-thinking regulatory framework and ecosystem to open its first regional hub in Dubai at DIFC.

Global crypto exchange, Coinbase, also announced exciting expansion plans, with CEO Brian Armstrong stating the company's intent to explore the UAE as a prospective hub for its operations in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Sharing insights on the increasing accessibility to smarter technologies, Jenny Johnson, CEO of Franklin Templeton, global leader in asset management, said: "AI is playing a big role in dynamically switching up investment portfolios and banking, (enabling) the ability to enhance tasks such as tax efficiency and delivering customisation in ways traditional banks could never achieve."

Commenting on the UAE's vision for economic diversification she added, "It's been reform, invest, and transform. We have seen reform achieve two things. First, it has attracted human capital and talent. The second are the reforms around capital requirements for foreign ownership. One of the things I appreciate about this region is its generational thinking. It is about how you are diversifying economies to ensure that you are successful for generations to come."

Speaking on changes in interest rates, Piyush Gupta, Group CEO of DBS Bank, said, "Four to five per cent interest rate environments have not been unusual. The big difference this time around is not the rate of interest, but the pace of change. Normally, the Federal Reserve System (FED) tends to take a couple of years - two to two and a half years to slowly work its way up. This time, a lot of people argued that the FED was behind the curve, and as a consequence, they have to react much more quickly."

The event was supported by finance and technology company, VISA as co-host sponsor; e& as headline sponsor; Geidea joining as the presenting sponsor; Finvasia, Emirates NBD and Paxos as lead sponsors; BLUE, Standard Chartered Bank, Ripple and Fasset as Platinum Sponsors; atPay, Dubai Financial Market and Commercial Bank of Dubai as Gold Sponsors and Huawei as the Lead Cloud Sponsor.

Dubai FinTech Summit will return in 2024

Looking ahead, the second edition of Dubai FinTech Summit promises greater impact, shaping the future of FinTech in the region. Mark your calendars for 6 and 7 May 2024 and join us once again as we push the boundaries of innovation and drive the FinTech industry forward.

About Dubai International Financial Centre

Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the world's most advanced financial centres, and the leading financial hub for the Middle East, and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion and an estimated GDP of USD 8 trillion.

With a close to 20-year track record of facilitating trade and investment flows across the MEASA region, the Centre connects these fast-growing markets with the economies of Asia, Europe, and the Americas through Dubai.

DIFC is home to an internationally recognised, independent regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework, as well as the region's largest financial ecosystem of over 36,000 professionals working across over 4,300 active registered companies - making up the largest and most diverse pool of industry talent in the region.

The Centre's vision is to drive the future of finance through cutting-edge technology, innovation, and partnerships. Today, it is the global future of finance and innovation hub offering one of the region's most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments, including cost-effective licensing solutions, fit-for-purpose regulation, innovative accelerator programmes, and funding for growth-stage start-ups.

Comprising a variety of world-renowned retail and dining venues, a dynamic art and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels and public spaces, DIFC continues to be one of Dubai's most sought-after business and lifestyle destinations.