Singaporean FinTech platform Nium enters Middle East

The start-up, which operates in over 100 countries, has closed five funding rounds totalling more than $59m since its inception

The Covid-19 pandemic is encouraging businesses to deploy technologies that will boost the digital payments business from $4.4 trillion this year to $8.26 trillion in 2024, according to Statista. Courtesy Nium
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Singapore-based FinTech Nium, which offers cross-border payments, has entered the Middle East.

The company was founded as InstaReM in 2014 and will cater to banks, financial institutions and large enterprises across the region, it said in a statement on Monday. It has appointed Ayoub Jemail as its new general manager for business development in the region.

“Nium has been at the forefront of FinTech innovation … I am confident that our capabilities will provide unique value to our customers,” said Mr Jemail, who was previously the regional vice president at Transpay, which was acquired by Mastercard last year.

“With the FinTech market estimated to reach a value of $2.5 billion across the broader Mena region and the launch of 5G later this year ... I believe there is tremendous room for growth for what financial technology can do in this region. I look forward to helping companies to drive better cost savings and efficiencies,” he added.

Nium, which operates in more than 100 countries, has completed five funding rounds to date, raising a total of $59.5 million since its inception. Its latest round, led by Visa and BRI Ventures, closed in May this year.

The digital payments business is booming, with the Covid-19 pandemic encouraging more businesses to deploy new technologies. Globally, digital payments are set to grow to $8.26 trillion in 2024 from $4.4tn this year, according to Statista.

The UAE is leading the adoption. Two-thirds of people expect the country to become fully cashless by 2030, according to a new poll by Standard Chartered. A McKinsey survey of UAE customers also found customers are 10 per cent more likely to use a credit card or a digital wallet, with 20 per cent stating they are less likely to use cash when making a payment.

Mr Jemail brings a wealth of experience in the FinTech industry to Nium, having worked with teams around the world, Prajit Nanu, co-founder and chief executive, said.

“His in-depth market expertise, as well as track record of managing sales and leading multi-market global teams in the industry, are valuable assets,” Mr Nanu added.