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.

TaxBit Appoints Lindsey Argalas as CEO

TaxBit, the industry-leading provider of tax and accounting solutions for digital assets, is set to embark on a transformative phase of innovation and expansion with the appointment of Lindsey Argalas as CEO. In this significant leadership transition, Austin Woodward, the current CEO, and Co-Founder, will transition into the role of Chairman of the Board. At the same time, Lindsey Argalas, the company's Chief Operating Officer, will assume the position of CEO, effective June 8, 2023.

As Chairman of the Board, Austin Woodward will leverage his profound industry knowledge and status as TaxBit's co-founder to steer the company's strategic partnerships and shape the company's long-term vision. During his tenure as TaxBit's CEO, TaxBit achieved remarkable milestones, securing $230M in funding from leading investors, pioneering business models in digital asset tax and accounting compliance, and building a market-leading company across Enterprise and Government verticals. Current customers include the IRS, PayPal, Fidelity, Google, and many more.

Austin Woodward commented on his role transition: "I am tremendously proud of our achievements at TaxBit, and I eagerly anticipate embarking on the next phase of my journey as Chairman of the Board. This transition enables me to dedicate my efforts to nurturing strategic partnerships, fostering innovation, and offering guidance to ensure TaxBit's ongoing success. I have complete confidence in Lindsey's capabilities to lead the company into this exciting era of growth and innovation."

Lindsey Argalas, TaxBit's newly appointed CEO, brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record of operational excellence to her role. With her background at Santander and Intuit, Lindsey is well-positioned to lead TaxBit into its next business phase. Her strategic thinking, passion for innovation, and deep understanding of the industry will drive TaxBit's growth and deliver exceptional value to clients and partners. As TaxBit enters this transformative phase under Argalas's leadership, the future holds immense potential for continued innovation, growth, and remarkable achievements across the digital assets ecosystem.

Lindsey Argalas expressed her excitement about her new role: "I am honored to lead TaxBit at this pivotal moment. TaxBit's innovative solutions have already revolutionized the digital asset tax and accounting landscape. I look forward to building on the company's success and leveraging my experience to drive global expansion, forge strategic partnerships, and deliver unrivaled value to our clients and partners worldwide."

Tom Loverro, TaxBit Board Member and GP at IVP expressed his confidence in TaxBit expressing, "Fintech businesses require constant adaptation to thrive. With Austin's transition to Chairman and Lindsey's appointment to CEO, TaxBit is demonstrating its ability to maneuver adroitly and set the company up for enduring success.

TaxBit is the leading tax and accounting solution for the digital asset class, designed by CPAs and tax attorneys. Its platform caters to top exchanges, businesses, governments, and individuals in the industry. TaxBit has secured over $230 million from leading global investors to automate regulatory tax and accounting compliance hurdles, paving the way for the widespread adoption of digital assets at scale. TaxBit is headquartered in Salt Lake City and Seattle.

Crypto Exchanges need Banking Solutions For Users

There’s a gap in the financial services market when it comes to integrating crypto into the mainstream financial system. FinXP is a European fintech company that is working to close this gap and help boost crypto adoption. It is a trusted partner for crypto companies requiring fiat banking and payment solutions; solutions that have now become notoriously limited in the sector.

While there is distrust around crypto in the mainstream financial industry, crypto use and adoption continue to grow. The global market for cryptocurrency was worth $4.67 billion in 2022 and is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 12.5% from 2023 to 2030.

The average daily trading volume for crypto sits at around $50 billion. In 2020 there were over 120 million financial transactions made with Bitcoin, the largest and most valuable crypto.

By 2027, it is predicted that crypto will have over 993 million users globally. This will bring user penetration from its current rate of 8.8% to approximately 12.5% worldwide. However, there is a significant barrier that is hurting the retail adoption of crypto. That is the difficulty that many have in finding an onramp to convert easily between crypto and fiat currency.

Traditional banking institutions have been skeptical about crypto adoption and transacting with crypto exchanges. The problem has grown more acute in the short term, as major players in the cryptocurrency banking industry, such as Signature Bank and Silvergate Bank, have pulled out of the sector.

In recent months there have also been moves made by regulators in an attempt to slow down transactions between crypto exchanges and banks. In 2020, 63% of financial institutions still described crypto as a risk rather than an opportunity.

Allowing users to deposit and withdraw fiat funds through crypto exchanges is key to onboarding the growing base of crypto users. This gap in the fintech market has created a space for forward-thinking alternatives to traditional banking.

Why Exchanges Are Turning To Closed-Loop Payments

One solution that seems to be gaining traction in the fintech space is closed-loop payments. A closed-loop payment system is where both the end-user and the merchant share a common payments ecosystem.

If both a crypto exchange and its users hold accounts with the same banking partner, then payments between them would be fast, approval would be almost guaranteed, and cross-border payments wouldn’t be an issue.

User accounts could also be linked to debit cards enabling individuals to more easily spend or withdraw their funds, thus adding to the utility of the account.

Closed-loop payment systems are seeing increasing popularity, with almost two-thirds of fintech and payment firms saying they will launch a closed-loop payment product by the end of 2023. A reason for their popularity is their high transaction approval rate and their ability to simplify and increase the speed of cross-border transactions.

FinXP is a leading provider of closed-loop payments for crypto exchanges. As an award-winning payments and banking solutions provider, FinXP stands out by not just providing banking solutions to the crypto industry, but they also offer several payment processing solutions.

The company works with crypto exchanges and crypto wallet providers to provide specialized custom payment solutions. It believes that many crypto investors are willing to open an IBAN account specifically to facilitate trading and investing in crypto. It’s confident that its solutions can help boost crypto adoption and increase customer loyalty for its clients.

FinTech Automation to provide payments technology on FedNow

FinTech Automation announces its participation as a provider of enabling financial technology for payments processing on the FedNow Service launching in July 2023. The FedNow Service is a new instant payment infrastructure that will allow financial institutions of every size to provide safe and efficient instant payment services. Through the service, funds will settle between participating financial institutions instantly, with no buildup of interbank obligations or short-term credit risk.

David Park, Founder and CEO of FinTech Automation said, “One of our main goals has been to help banks, credit unions, and ODFIs in launching new embedded finance solutions. The ability to facilitate secure instant payments through the FedNow System will be a real game changer for these financial institutions. Using our platform, clients will have the ability to deploy this enabling technology quickly without having to touch lines of code.”

The FedNow platform will offer core clearing and settlement capabilities with credit transfers completing in seconds making instant payments available 24x7x365. It also features access to balance information around the clock, along with activity reports available on demand or at end of day. Additionally, financial institutions will be able to settle using their own master account or a correspondent’s master account and includes configurable features for each routing transit number (RTN) enabled, such as the ability to receive customer transfers, send and receive customer transfers, receive requests for payment, support financial institution liquidity management transfers, and support settlement services for other financial institutions.

Financial institutions using the FedNow Service will remain competitive, have the ability to create new financial products, and meet the growing needs of customers. In turn, this will allow financial institutions’ business customers to gain better control of cash flow management, improve efficiency of corporate payments, and streamline their reconciliation processes.

The first release of the FedNow Service will provide baseline functionality that will support a range of functionality, including those account-to-account (A2A) transfers and bill pay.

About FinTech Automation

FinTech Automation is a Dallas-based Fintech as-a-Service platform that enables digital transformation for financial institutions (FIs). The Platform consists of FTA’s proprietary UniFi Banking, Trust, and Wealth Management core applications and 7 micro-service-based applications that offers a full suite of banking and wealth management applications. With FTA’s API management application, AccelerationCloud™, the Platform is integrated with over 30 best of breed third-party applications to offer business intelligence, Open Banking, CRM, machine learning, digital account opening, and robotic process automation without having to code a single line. The FTA platform is uniquely built for banks, fintechs, and FIs offering Bank Sponsorship, Banking as-a-Service (BaaS), AdviserTech, Card Issuance, and Embedded Finance.