The path to recovery in the aftermath of COVID-19 and the increasingly essential role of Artificial Intelligence and big data driven digital innovation in banking are said to be among the main topics at the upcoming fourth edition of the MEA Fintech Forum, held under the patronage of the Central Bank of Bahrain and hosted by Bank ABC.
Themed ‘Banking Beyond Digital’, the two day event will be streamed live on a virtual event platform on November 24-25, 2020. The event says to explore financial services beyond digital and ways to navigate the current economic crisis, possible paths to recovery and uncover new and exciting opportunities to drive positive change in the financial services sector.
Key discussion themes for ‘bank of the future’ area will include the digital powered path to recovery in 2021, redefining banking using Artificial Intelligence (AI), sustainability and inclusion.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused major changes to the way we live and work and forced us to form new habits to adapt to the ‘new normal’. The pandemic has accelerated digitization at a rate which we could never have predicted. We are at a critical junction for the future of Banks and Financial Services and how we choose to respond to these challenges will play a key role in shaping the future not only of the finance industry, but of the entire ecosystem. We must embrace the opportunities that have been created to adapt and innovate in these difficult times as we look beyond 2020 to economic recovery and the future of Banking Beyond Digital. We are excited to host the 4th MEA Fintech Forum and bring together industry leaders to discuss these pressing topics and to feature key insights and predictions from renowned expert speakers,” noted Sael Al Waary, Deputy Group CEO of Bank ABC.
On Day 1, a separate CEO’s panel is said to be moderated by Dr. Gillian Tett of the MEA Fintech Forum and will see Dr. Khaled Kawan, Bank ABC Group CEO, Atiq Ur Rehman, Citi Bank Middle East & Africa CEO, and Martin Tricaud, HSBC MENA CEO, to discuss how incumbent banks are responding to the demand for digital banking, the future of banking, how banks are responding to the double threat of COVID-19 and the acceleration of digital banking, among many other critical topics.
Recently, the Central Bank of Bahrain in cooperation with a consortium of Banks, including Bank ABC and ila Bank, and the Economic Development Board launched FinHub 973, a digital fintech lab designed to connect financial institutions in the region with fintech startups across the world and unlock innovation opportunities in the region.
The MEA Fintech Forum aims to underline Bank ABC’s commitment to Bahrain and the region and supports Bahrain’s vision to become a leading FinTech hub. More regional banks, financial institutions, big tech and leading consultancies are expected to take part in the Forum this year. Bank ABC Group including the digital, mobile-only bank, ila and digital payments provider AFS, are engaged in the development of new FinTech-led financial services and global ecosystems.