As we bid farewell to another remarkable year, it’s with great excitement that I share my Top 3 Predictions for the financial services sector in the GCC in 2024!  I forecast some intriguing developments, especially around three key concepts: Flow-Based Lending, Embedded Finance, and the rise of Aggregators. Let’s take a closer look …

1. Flow-Based Lending is poised to take center stage in the GCC’s financial landscape come 2024, ushering in a new era of credit evaluation. Moving beyond traditional measures like credit scores, this approach relies on real-time data to gauge a borrower’s creditworthiness. As digital transformation sweeps across the GCC, financial institutions are gearing up to embrace flow-based lending, a potential game-changer for SMEs and startups facing hurdles with conventional loan access. By leveraging digital transactional data, such as e-commerce sales, POS data, and online payments, this innovative lending model promises tailored and more accessible credit options. Keep an eye on the integration of AI and machine learning, heralding a trend towards advanced risk assessment and decision-making processes.

2. Embedded Finance emerges as a significant player in the GCC’s financial services arena for 2024, seamlessly blending financial offerings into the fabric of non-financial companies. The region, witnessing a surge in digital adoption and innovation, is set to experience rapid growth in embedded finance. What fuels this growth? Collaborations between fintech firms and traditional industries, including retail, hospitality, and healthcare. These partnerships will not only deliver convenience but also highly personalised financial products, leveraging data analytics for finely tuned offerings.

3. Get ready for the rise of Aggregators in the GCC by 2024!  Financial aggregators and marketplaces are set to gain substantial traction, revolutionizing the consumer and SME finance landscape. These platforms act as a one-stop solution, pulling together a diverse array of financial services and products from various providers. The result? More choices, better transparency, and a streamlined experience. Imagine services like price comparison for loans, insurance, and investment products, coupled with personal financial management tools. Fueled by the growth of fintech and a rising preference for digital channels, aggregators will play a pivotal role in enhancing financial literacy and inclusion, making a broader range of financial products easily accessible and understandable to consumers.

Reflecting on the progress in 2023, these insights suggest a more inclusive, data-driven, and customer-centric financial services landscape in the GCC in 2024 — and here at Qarar we are excited about the myriad possibilities that lie ahead in the dynamic world of finance. Let’s make 2024 a year to remember!