Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Accenture to foster innovation in the financial services industry.
Under the MoU, FinTech Hive at DIFC - the first financial technology accelerator in the MEASA region will collaborate with Accenture's FinTech Innovation Labs in New York, London and Hong Kong, to share resources and knowledge on the latest research and trends in financial technology.
The agreement will help build long-term relationships across the accelerator's international initiatives, further cementing synergies between the DIFC and Accenture.
FinTech Hive at DIFC gives enterprises in the finance sector access to state-of-the art technologies to support their digital transformation while providing innovators and entrepreneurs with invaluable access to potential clients and investors.
Arif Amiri, Chief Executive Officer of DIFC Authority, said: "This agreement leverages DIFC's position as the top Fintech hub in the region and Accenture's expertise in shaping a world-class innovation platform. The UAE's position as a hub for financial institutions and for innovative talent gives the FinTech Hive at DIFC a competitive advantage for fostering FinTech growth. What sets us apart is our ability to harness the assets to grow Fintech locally that will ultimately create more jobs, attract investments and support the economy as a whole. By teaming up with Accenture's FinTech Innovation Labs from around the world, we aim to utilise this demand to support innovation and growth as well as strengthen Dubai's position as one of the world's top 10 FinTech hubs."
The FinTech Innovation Labs are annual 12-week accelerator programmes that bring together early-stage financial technology companies and the world's leading financial institutions. Globally, the Labs' alumni companies have raised more than $1.07 billion in venture financing after participating in the programmes.
Sushil Saluja, a senior managing director in Accenture's Financial Services practice, added: "We are excited to further grow our fruitful partnership with the DIFC. Accenture will facilitate and create ties between the DIFC accelerator and our FinTech Innovation Labs in Europe, North America and Asia. In today's hyper-connected world, this type of alliance is critical for maximising talent development and innovation. With surging demand for FinTech solutions and Dubai's increasing presence on the global financial scene, we are confident that this international collaboration will generate incredible opportunities for the region."
DIFC has recently announced that the 2018 programme, which is opening for applications in May, will be expanded to include insurance, Islamic finance, and regulatory technology services. First Abu Dhabi Bank, Arab Bank and Noor Bank will join the programme this year, with returning financial institutions to include Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, Citigroup, Emirates Islamic, Emirates NBD, HSBC, Mashreq, Standard Chartered, UAE Exchange, and Visa.