Experts to discuss banking technology at forum
Manama, April 3, 2014
Bahrain is set to host the largest gathering of financial technology professionals in the Mena region at a major exhibition and conference.
The first edition of the Arabian Banking Technology Exhibition and Conference (Abtec 2014) opens its doors on Tuesday and Wednesday at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre, reported the Gulf Daily News, our sister publication.
Launched by Ebtikar Association, and supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) and the Economic Development Board (EDB), Abtec 2014 has drawn more than 70 international exhibitors from 35 countries.
It includes country pavilions from Hungary and Romania, and more than 400 delegates representing leading financial institutions from across the Mena region with an expectation to witness 2,000 visitors over the two days.
Abtec 2014 takes place at a time when the region's financial services industry is in the midst of an IT spending boom.
According to international research firm IDC, IT spending in the Middle East is estimated to exceed $32 billion in 2014, and the financial services sector is one of the biggest drivers of this spending.
"In an increasingly digital world, financial institutions must move away from legacy systems in order to deliver more value to the customer, while simultaneously meeting regulatory requirements and managing new risks," said Ebtikar Association founder and president and Abtec 2014 chairperson Osama Al Khajah.
"We are delighted to launch the first edition of Abtec concurrently with Ebtikar Association first anniversary and make it an annual international platform for decision makers to meet with cutting edge financial technologies and solutions in Bahrain and discuss, network and do business," he added.
Bahrain has been the best choice to host Abtec 2014 due to its position as a top financial centre in the Mena region, in addition to its position as a leading international exhibitions and conferences centre.
Held under the theme "Turning Digital Disruption into Transformational Opportunities", the Abtec 2014 conference is packed with new ideas and inspiration on how financial firms can reinvent their business models to deliver digital value.
The programme, led by renowned financial industry expert Chris Skinner, features case studies from a number of institutions.
This includes the Central Bank of Jordan, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Commercial Bank of Qatar, Al Khaliji Bank and Amman Stock Exchange.
A key highlight of the conference is an international case study on Fidor Bank, the world's first online-only bank that operates through the Internet and using social media.
Running alongside the conference is a sell-out exhibition that features a wide array of game-changing innovations, from applications that replace passwords with pictures, to solutions that enable users to interact with online banking without the need to touch a keyboard or mouse.
Abtec has also become the first major event in Bahrain to deploy Poken, an award-winning handheld technology that enables participants to exchange information digitally, eliminating the need for business cards or printed collateral.-TradeArabia News Service