News, Software

BMI Research: Bahrain FinTech sector gaining momentum

Bahrain's Financial Harbour development in Manama
Bahrain’s Financial Harbour development in Manama

A new report has found that Bahrain is losing ground to Dubai’s fintech sector and needs to adopt new technology to remain relevant, but is taking a number of steps to achieve its objective.

BMI Research said that Dubai had been the more forward-thinking of the two when it came to adoption and promotion of fintech.

The research does, however, go on to add that Bahrain’s recent efforts show that momentum is building in the country, with more developments expected in the months ahead.

“The United Arab Emirates has been a more enthusiastic adopter and promoter of fintech, with Dubai having emerged as a leading digital services hub for the region in the last two years,” the report reads. “Bahrain still has a long way to go before it can catch up, but recent efforts show that momentum is building and more developments can be expected in the months ahead.”

In February, the Kingdom was reported to be in talks with Singapore’s central bank to discuss the adoption of blockchain technology. At the end of March, Bahrain and Singapore partnered ro create a fintech ecosystem and regulatory framework with the aim of becoming a hub for the region.

However, the country still has a long way to go before it can catch up with the efforts that Dubai is currently making in the sector, according to BMI Research.

The firm added that the central bank of Bahrain had spent last year developing new mobile-optimised payment and settlement mechanisms for both its own and third parties’ use, while the National Bank of Bahrain enhanced its mobile banking services development strategy.

“Both banks acknowledge that Bahrain has moved relatively slowly in digitalising key payment processes and commercialising new fintech products that would augment local businesses’ financial service toolkits and enable them to diversify into new markets,” BMI Research said.

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