Op-ed by Avinash Mansabdar, Director of Finance, Seed Group
Many of us today have seen the great transition from non-digital to digital, the graduation of the world from landline phones to smartphones, and the grand arrival of the internet. Things have changed so much that if you were to ask someone who lived and walked the earth 100 years ago, their description of the way the world functioned at that time would sound impossible.
Things have changed across industries, from education to healthcare, and finances are not untouched either. From writing down every bit of expenditure to filling in hand-written sheets for managing personal finance, all the way to the world of smartphones today, when everything is done with a click on a device, the journey of finance management tools has been interesting, to say the least.
In today’s time, financial apps play an important part in our day-to-day lives. These apps are perhaps one of the biggest but still evolving domains of financial management.
According to a new report by Million Insights, the global finance app market size is expected to reach USD 2.01 billion by 2028. The market growth, the report says, is owing to the rising demand for tracking investment apps from consumers in emerging economies and the cumulative call for more options in one-stop digital money management app services. As per the same report, the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is projected to witness a CAGR of 13.6% from 2021 to 2028.
Avinash Mansabdar, Finance Director, Seed Group
This opens a massive opportunity for both the users and the creators of these applications. In a digitally advanced economy like the UAE, more tech-seeded solutions for money management are welcomed and therefore have a huge scope of growth.
Add to that, the seemingly limitless number of services that apps can provide. They usually generate a lot of quality data that can be used for analytics and artificial intelligence. By integrating artificial intelligence, the process can be modernised further and services will be spontaneous.
Overall, the scope is broad. It is up to the relevant organizations, authorities, and governments around the world to further leverage this segment and equip people with the necessary tools to meet their financial needs, whether they are individuals, small businesses, or national economies as a whole.
Further growth of the finance apps sector is expected to be fuelled by the rising demand for blockchain-based security and new financial models. For example, in the MEA regions, there are stats that indicate that accounting apps will see a sharp rise in adoption, especially from the retail consumers of the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and South Africa.
Also, tax calculator-based finance apps and wealth management apps are expected to further contribute to making the finance app world grow. To assist consumers in understanding and partaking in this journey, various companies across the world are now looking at built-in intelligence-based financial solutions. The aim should be to address the lack of good financial planning and advisory apps for large expatriate communities in the Middle East nations.
As a trailblazer, the UAE has already taken steps in that direction. The establishment of a regulatory framework titled “Virtual Asset Regulatory Authority for Fintech Solutions” to operate in a conducive environment is one of them. VARA aims to create an advanced legal framework to protect investors and design much-needed international standards for virtual asset (VA) industry governance to promote responsible business growth under prudential regulations.
Such decisions are welcomed by us at Seed Group, where we work with a number of financial and technology companies, advising them on how to expand their customer base and tailor their products and services to the needs of the people in the region. Finance apps have huge potential in the UAE and the MENA region, and are expected to play a significant role in propelling economies to unmatched heights in the near future.
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