Jordan’s Ahli bank announced the launch of is financial technology (fintech) seed acceleration programme at RiseUp Summit today.
The six-month programme will offer up to $200,000 in investment with access to more than a thousand mentors and crucially, instant access to market under the bank’s own financial licence.
“We know the banking model is going to die,” said Rami Alkarmi, chief innovation officer at Ahli Bank and the chief executive officer of Ahli Fintech. “As a bank, we took a decision – instead of fighting fintechs, we want to embrace them.”
Based in Amman, Ahli Fintech will accept startups from all around the world with focus on the Arab region. The move marks greater interest across the Middle East in the fintech sector as banks look to startups to innovate.
Startupbootcamp, a global accelerator running 25 programmes in 17 cities around the world also launched FinTech Cairo, a fintech focused accelerator programme in partnership with Egypt-based Pride Capital.
Offering companies office space, mentoring and seed funding of $25,000 in exchange for equity, the programme will run for six months with financial inclusion as its main objective. Almost half of Egypt’s population remains unbanked, presenting a big opportunity for fintech startups to address this issue.
“Banks are starting to change a little bit. For banks to expand, they will not go in the conventional way. The only way for them is to capitalise on fintech disruptions happening right now,” said Hany Soliman, innovation lab manager at Commercial International Bank.