Saudi Arabia is aiming to reach a SAR13.3 billion ($3.6 billion) direct GDP contribution by 2030, up from SAR1.2 billion ($317 million) in 2021. The Kingdom also aims to create 16,500 new jobs and reach 525 active fintech companies by 2030. Fintech is a key pillar of not only the financial services industry’s future, but as a cross-cutting enabler of numerous Vision 2030 initiatives such as raising private sector GDP, boosting small and medium enterprises (SMEs), attracting foreign investment, developing the digital economy, and enhancing the ease of doing business. Over the near term, the Saudi fintech sector is poised for continued growth due to its strong fundamentals and high ceiling for growth relative to other emerging economies.
As a regional leader in the adoption of 5G and mobile technologies, digital commerce and payment solutions have rapidly taken off and the COVID-19 pandemic only further accelerated this change in consumer behavior. Much of the regulatory enablement enacted in recent years is aimed at attracting international investment to further build on recent digitization successes. The participation of international technology and investment firms is a core ambition of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. Consequently, U.S. firms have participated in the sector’s growth through VC investments and local partnerships. The U.S.’s advanced financial services sector and the longstanding presence of U.S. finance firms in Saudi Arabia indicate that bilateral partnerships between U.S. and Saudi firms in fintech will have abundant market opportunities over the next decade.