Mashreq Buys Stake in NymCard in Support of UAE's FinTech

Financial technology fintech concept businessman using digital tablet

Mashreq, a Dubai bank, announced on Thursday the purchase of a stake in NymCard, a banking-as-a-service provider, to promote FinTechs in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) as cashless transactions increase owing to the coronavirus pandemic.  

The bank, which is controlled by the Al Ghurair family, said it recognizes “the important role the FinTechs play in growing financial inclusion and the digital economy and will continue to identify opportunities, invest and support our partners to drive this growth.”  

NymCard provides a platform for large and small FinTech companies to issue a payment card with its technology.  

Omar Onsi, chief executive and founder of NymCard, said, “the partnership will also allow FinTech companies to launch and scale quickly within the UAE market.”  

The investments made by the bank in NymCard through its venture fund, which was created to support the growth of the FinTech ecosystem in the UAE, Mashreq said. The lender, however, did not disclose the value of the deal or the size of the stake. 

“The UAE has witnessed significant growth as a FinTech hub, both from an investment perspective and from a burgeoning crop of tech-savvy innovators, and this shows no signs of abating,” Fernando Morillo, global head of retail banking at Mashreq Bank, said. 

According to Omar Onsi, chief executive and founder of NymCard, the cooperation will allow FinTech companies to start and develop swiftly within the UAE market.  

It is worth mentioning that the sector has been growing in the past years in the Middle East, with more than 800 FinTech companies operating in different segments such as payments, InsureTech, and cyber security will raise more than $2 billion in venture capital funding to boost their growth, Mashreq noted, citing data from the Middle East Institute. 

Meanwhile, digital payments are expected to grow to $8.26 trillion by 2024 on a global scale, from $4.4 trillion in 2020, according to Statista.  

Mashreq swung to a net profit of $278 million in 2021 as impairments fell and net interest income along with income from Islamic financing grew.  

During the pandemic, the demand for digital payments and other FinTech services grew as more people used online banking services to transfer money and pay for e-commerce transactions.