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Using Fintech to strengthen the economy in support of Vision 2030

By Alanoud AlDhumairy, Senior Change Management Specialist at The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC)

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Last year, The Red Sea Development Company (TRSDC) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Fintech Saudi, a Financial Sector Development Program launched by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and Capital Market Authority (CMA). The initiative acts as a catalyst for developing fintech services in Saudi Arabia and transforming the Kingdom into a global Fintech hub. 

Keeping pace
The smartphone boom in 2007 significantly changed the way we engage with and consume information. To keep pace with these technological innovations, financial services had to adapt, which in turn, accelerated the growth of fintech services in Saudi Arabia.

There are currently 70 Fintech companies in the Kingdom, ranging from payments, lending, fintech innovation, private fund raising and insurance capital markets. As an example, STC Pay, a digital payment system, became the first Fintech unicorn in the Middle East and we expect to see many more in the near future. 

Cashless society 
Digital growth and adoption have accelerated significantly worldwide as societies and businesses adapt to the challenges of living in a pandemic. We have observed a sharp increase in fintech services as these challenges have forced people to look for cashless solutions.

As the world moves to a cashless society, it is only natural for our destination to collaborate with Fintech Saudi to implement these services. Our partnership will allow us to build the most advanced financial services to benefit various stakeholders, including our operators, business owners, future visitors, and residences. In fact, we are exploring how to integrate these solutions into the mobile ecosystem given that individuals interact and use financial apps more than physical stores. 

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Automation and digital solutions 
As AI and machine learning improve, automation will become increasingly important to all industries. At TRSDC, we are continuing to integrate the latest automated solutions to improve efficiency, costs, and reduce human error. Moreover, we are exploring the move from physical branch-based banking to a fully digital version with the help of Fintech Saudi and SAMA. 

Our aim is to have a suite of digital solutions ranging from our very own virtual bank to a destination specific E-wallet for staff and visitors. Through leveraging the excellent expertise from Fintech Saudi and our financial sector, we hope to lead the Kingdom towards a digitally based and cashless society, establishing the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia as a global fintech hub.