Amazon Payment Services, the division of Amazon that focuses on providing payment services, has announced the launch of its fintech lab in Dubai which is likely to focus on the MENA region.
It is called the Amazon Fintech Lab and is located within the Dubai International Financial Centre Innovation Hub which is a part of the Future project that was launched last year with fanfare to project Dubai as a development and innovation hub, especially for the financial services industry.
The fintech lab is expected to foster and nurture new startups with workshops, mentorships, roundtables and other forms of help so that they can utilise the space and time to enhance their knowledge as they build and grow.
Omar Soudodi, managing director of Amazon Payment Services, recently spoke as part of the DIFC Innovation Hub’s first month of events, saying the company wanted to “turn exciting new ideas and concepts into transformational and disruptive forces in fintech.”
“The lab also brings like-minded entrepreneurs and startups together with new and existing business partners to cultivate innovation in the fintech and digital services arena, supported by Amazon’s global expertise on new products and services, and knowledge sessions on topics related to the payments sector,” he said.
Dubai has been trying to woo investors and companies in the financial services sector over the last couple of years to utilise its space and also to set up its base in Dubai as it looks forward to other avenues for generating revenue for itself. It probably realises that it cannot rely only on oil and tourism to continue generating revenue and has probably taken a cue from Singapore and Hong Kong which have grown as the destination of choice, in Asia, for those who want to do anything related to the financial services industry.
Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said: “We welcome Amazon Payment Services’ first fintech lab in the world at the Innovation Hub in DIFC. By choosing DIFC, Amazon has the ideal platform to grow given they are now part of the Middle East, Africa and South Asia’s largest and comprehensive financial, technology and innovation ecosystem. We are looking forward to working together to drive the future of finance.”
The development of such centres like DIFC is a move towards that direction and we have also been seeing that the authorities over there have been relaxing a lot of regulations surrounding crypto and other financial services as they seek to welcome companies to build and grow there.