Saudi Arabia is experiencing a significant boom in the fintech sector, according to Ayman Al-Sayari, the governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA). As of August 2023, there are now over 200 fintech companies in the country, a substantial increase from 89 in 2022 and just 51 in 2021. This rapid growth is a result of strategic initiatives by SAMA to support the fintech ecosystem.
Al-Sayari highlighted a collaborative effort between SAMA and the Capital Market Authority to launch a program aimed at supporting fintech startups. This program will offer comprehensive packages to accelerate the growth of these companies.
SAMA’s annual fintech report for 2022 also revealed positive trends. The Kingdom ended the year with 30 licensed fintech firms, with total revenue generated by fintechs reaching SR2.8 billion ($746.4 million) in 2022, up from SR2 billion in 2021. Total assets held by fintechs also increased to SR6.8 billion in 2022 from SR6.5 billion the previous year.
This growth aligns with Saudi Arabia’s goal to position itself as a regional financial hub by 2030. The Kingdom also aims to increase non-cash transactions among individuals to 70 percent by 2025 and boost the fintech sector’s contribution to the gross domestic product to SR4.5 billion.
Al-Sayari noted that Saudi Arabia achieved an impressive 8.7 percent GDP growth in 2022, surpassing the growth rates of all G20 countries and exceeding international organizations’ expectations.