Driving Progress: Dr. Al-Ghazzawi Commends Bahrain’s Fintech Triumphs and Inclusive Growth

Dr. Khalid Al-Ghazzawi, CEO of Ebdaa Microfinance Company, emphasized that Bahrain has made significant strides in bolstering digital transformation initiatives aimed at fully digitizing the banking sector and diminishing reliance on cash, in line with the directives of the Central Bank of Bahrain.

 Dr. Al-Ghazzawi highlighted that “Ebdaa” has been instrumental since its inception in establishing robust frameworks for advancing open microfinance services within a secure environment, tailoring banking solutions to cater to diverse customer segments and reaffirming Bahrain’s forefront position in embracing and leveraging financial technology solutions.

This was stated while Dr. Al-Ghazzawi’s chaired the third session of the Union of Arab Banks Conference in Baghdad, Iraq, themed “Financial Technology and Digital Payments.”

 In this session, Dr. Al-Ghazzawi delved into various topics such as digital transformation in banking, compliance hurdles amidst the proliferation of technology, leveraging technology for analysing money laundering and terrorist financing patterns, and the opportunities and challenges faced by regulatory bodies in utilizing technology to combat financial crimes.

Dr. Al-Ghazzawi added: “Ebdaa has played a pivotal role in advancing open finance initiatives by digitizing financial services. Alongside this, the banking sector’s remarkable achievements have propelled the Kingdom to significant levels of financial inclusion. These achievements include the adoption of payroll protection programs, e-wallets, facilitation of financial transactions through companies like BENEFIT, the introduction of fully digital banks, and the implementation of robust data protection regulations and policies. Together, these efforts have fostered a flourishing digital finance ecosystem that is rapidly expanding.”

Dr. Al-Ghazzawi discussed the notable achievements of the AGFUND program in significantly advancing the provision of tailored financial solutions for entrepreneurs and underscored the program’s success in fostering collaboration between its affiliated banks and financial technology firms to digitize services, thereby fostering competition and innovation.

Additionally, CEO of Ebdaa Microfinance Company highlighted legislative and regulatory advancements aimed at establishing frameworks conducive to the development of these solutions, ensuring alignment with evolving customer needs. Dr. Al-Ghazzawi emphasized the imperative of bolstering the resilience of financial institutions to effectively adapt to the digital revolution and stressed the significance of reevaluating business models and operational strategies to transition to new infrastructures in response to the escalating demand for digital solutions.

Moreover, Dr. Al-Ghazzawi underscored that AGFUND is actively exploring opportunities for expansion into the Iraqi market, aiming to extend microfinance services to Iraqi citizens. This strategic move will incorporate Iraq into the roster of countries where the AGFUND network of institutions and banks operates, facilitating the advancement of financing programs within the nation. The initiative seeks to bolster financial support and empowerment for young individuals, thereby fostering economic growth and advancement in Iraq.

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