SAUDI ARABIA - Finance
Abdulrhman Alarifi is an experienced businessman with a diverse background in both banking and startups. He has over 15 years of banking experience, during which he held various positions at different banks, including Banque Saudi Fransi and Bank Albilad. Alarifi also served as the Managing Director at National Creativity Investment Co., where he managed wealth, corporate treasury products, and cash management solutions. Throughout his banking career, he exhibited exceptional leadership skills and an unparalleled commitment to achieving business goals. As the co-founder and CEO of SingleView Holding Limited, he plays a crucial role in increasing awareness around open banking and has worked extensively to lead initiatives with the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority. He built the SingleView team by bringing together global industry experts and the brightest talents of the local market to revolutionize and reshape the banking space.
SingleView is a Saudi fintech company founded in 2019 that spearheaded open banking activities in Saudi Arabia. Initially operating on a B2B model due to the absence of Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) regulations, we provided corporate clients with streamlined access to their finances, enabling faster and more efficient processes compared to traditional banking methods. Our innovative fintech solution significantly reduces time, efforts, and costs in procedures such as reconciliation, payment initiation, and trade finance for large corporations. By leveraging financial technology, we empower businesses to identify and optimize cost factors while maximizing revenue streams. In response to SAMA’s 2021 open banking initiative, SingleView was well prepared, having already developed and implemented our product. Since then, we have obtained SAMA certificate and collaborated with banks to seize the opportunity to elevate banking services for both individuals and corporations. Our approach connects information from various sources, aligning with the core principles of open banking. This allows customers to receive tailored offers based on their needs and data.
During my time working in banks, I noticed a significant gap in financial services. While banks were focused on traditional offerings such as lending, trade finance, and payments, there was a lack of attention given to technological advancements. Having interacted with numerous customers over 15 years, I recognized the growing financial needs in the country, especially with the digital transformation outlined in Saudi Vision 2030. In line with this ambitious vision, SingleView aims to bring banking services to a broader audience. We noticed that underserved small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) account for over 90% of all businesses in Saudi Arabia and employ over 60% of the private sector workforce. They play an essential role in any economy. Along we help mega and giga corporations to have access to the fintech space by transforming their operations by using SingleView.
We operate under significant initiatives and are fortunate to be regulated by SAMA, which despite of being a regulator, is a major enabler. Balancing regulation with innovation is challenging, but our collaboration with SAMA has been crucial for fostering innovation. Leveraging SAMA’s sandbox, we tested our products in a well-monitored, regulated environment, ensuring proper coaching and support. This framework has allowed us to thrive and grow securely. Furthermore, we have collaborated with Saudi fintech in open banking awareness by having workshops and panels in different cities around the kingdom called (fintech tour). and to expand our reach, we actively participate in exhibitions and conferences, offering our services with a 50% discount on fees to support start-ups. Additionally, we provide free services for the first year, contributing to the broader goal of supporting digital transformation. Our initiatives align with the directives of the Saudi Central Bank, as it owns the sandbox environment. We aim to continue leveraging these initiatives to launch more products for SingleView.
SingleView has important solutions for the banking sector, providing access to a wide range of services that banks offer, but may not be widely exposed. Since 2019, we have become the ideal partner for numerous banks, recently signing agreements with six or seven of them. We focus on enabling banks to enhance their technological capabilities and move away from rigid IT roadmaps, fostering a more flexible and innovative mindset. With our innovative technology, we aim to simplify tasks like applying for a loan or initiating international payment, just as ordering food or booking a flight can be done through a mobile app. SingleView supports and champions this progressive approach, aiming to make everyday tasks more convenient and accessible for businesses and individuals alike.
Leveraging our digital growth in Saudi Arabia, our innovative products are designed with a transformative mindset for widespread accessibility. We adopt a strategic approach: launching in Saudi Arabia for proof of concept and then expanding to neighboring regions such as Egypt, UAE, Qatar, Oman, and Kuwait. The beauty of financial technology lies in dual driving forces: industry dynamics and regulatory support. Fortunately,We benefits from both in Saudi Arabia, allowing well-regulated entities to explore our innovative products globally. Our success is fueled by a combination of innovation, team dedication and a unique offering. Our plan is to extend our reach to exhibitions in Singapore, the US, and UK next year, establishing our presence in these markets.
We are essential across all industries, from large corporations and multinationals to small businesses, addressing diverse fintech needs. Our impact spans various sectors, including lending, manufacturing, insurance, travel, retail, mortgages and e-commerce. promoting financial inclusion to these sectors. In today’s tech-driven landscape, businesses of all sizes, even local stores, have incorporated technology facilitated by SingleView. Our reach extends to the government sector, ensuring seamless visibility and accessibility for accounts and payments, meeting the evolving financial needs across industries. Every sector benefits from our services and success. Previously, both companies and individuals spent hours collecting payments daily; however, now, a simple click on their mobile instantly processes payments for the delivery company, merchant, and payment gateway. This seamless ecosystem, connecting customers with logistics, sellers and payment service provider, is made possible by innovative fintech solutions like ours. Our role in bridging these connections has revolutionized the way businesses and individuals interact, facilitating efficient transactions and fostering a globally connected marketplace.
Our upcoming personal finance management tool is set to launch next year, focusing on the individual. Simultaneously, we plan to expand our market presence and enhance our offerings, aiming to broaden our B2B connectivity by integrating with multinational corporations. We are in talks with international banks to establish a global network. This approach enables seamless cross-border transactions, allowing, for instance, a Saudi company to easily access and transact with a Canadian company through our network, thereby expanding our open banking footprint globally.
SAUDI ARABIA - Economy
Chairman of the Board & KSA Country Senior Leader, PwC Middle East
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