Bahrain’s oldest Islamic bank is taking the lead in harnessing the power of fintech by means of collaboration.
Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) is hoping to attract fintech start-ups into the Kingdom and has aligned itself with Flat 6 Labs Bahrain – a start-up accelerator program under the Cairo-based Flat 6 Labs umbrella. Flat 6 Labs has launched over 75 companies backed up by more than 300 entrepreneurs.
This partnership, under which BisB and Flat 6 Labs will introduce accelerator programs as well as joint programs and initiatives to invest in technopreneurs, comes amid the bank’s digital ambition to become a leader in the fintech space which is likely to nurture the growth of Shariah compliant fintech. This is also in tandem with Bahrain’s national goal to be a regional center for fintech – an agenda being spearheaded by the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB).
EDB is currently working on establishing a fintech ecosystem and regulatory framework, and is looking to Singapore for guidance: it has engaged fintech incubator and ecosystem builder Singapore Fintech Consortium as well as Dubai-based advisory firm Trucial Investment Partners to develop the necessary legal infrastructure. The Kingdom is also considering setting up a dedicated fintech hub on its shore and building an incubator/accelerator platform as well to explore fintech-focused venture capital.