• Digital financial services
  • Financial Inclusion
  • Financial technology
Feb 26, 2021

Brilliant ideas were on full display at Yalla Fintech – the Arab Hackathon for Financial Inclusion. These are the 15 innovators that push the frontier in digital finance to the next level.

Access to affordable financial services is essential for poverty reduction and economic growth. Digital financial services (DFS) have the potential to reduce costs, increase speed, security as well as transparency, and enable tailored financial services that serve the poor at scale. Local entrepreneurship and innovative ideas in financial technology are key to this.

Yalla Fintech is the Arab world’s first regional digital Hackathon for Financial Inclusion, conducted by Fintech Galaxy based in the UAE with the support of GIZ for the Financial Inclusion for the Arab Region Initiative (FIARI).

And it was fast-paced and stimulating – as the next-gen Fintechs highlighted their innovative solutions for the financial inclusion for the Arab region during the final pitch-offs of the Yalla Fintech hackathon.

After a rigorous selection process from a total of 83 applications over the preceding weeks, a group of 15 innovative tech firms and startups from the Arab region geared up for their final pitches in a one-week bootcamp.

The innovative solutions from all teams address financial inclusion challenges that are top priorities for countries in the Arab region. Overall, Yalla Fintech covered three categories of challenges that became even more acute in response to and the recovery from the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic:

  • E-KYC for Digital Customer On-boarding
  • Digital Lending
  • Digital Financial Services Awareness

Judges were composed of practitioners, Central Bankers, and investors from across the region and shared their reflections with the innovators as they strive to scale their digital finance solutions for local communities or businesses.

Based on pre-defined and transparent evaluation criteria, the respective juries ultimately crowned the three following winning teams of the Yalla Fintech Hackathon for financial inclusion:

AnaMeen developed a platform where individuals can create a digital identity for themselves and businesses can digitally validate the identities of their users. Through a combination of information verification and face match solutions supported with AI and blockchain technologies, the application provides an excellent user experience, prevents fraud, and meets legal KYC requirements.

Mawelny offers an online platform that allows customers to find out about loan financing offers from banks or alternative loan sources, compare them and apply for a loan. An algorithm filters out the most suitable loan options or providers for customers individually. This increases the likelihood of providing loan financing at more favourable conditions.

Savii is the first neo-bank for teens in the Gulf Cooperation Council. The company developed a digital banking app and prepaid debit card with flexible parental controls for 11-18 year olds. The intention is to enable financial independence for teens while empowering them to learn responsible saving, budgeting, spending and investing.

The winning teams are awarded a prize from the GIZ in support of their ambitions to scale their solutions.


All finalists of Yalla Fintech 2020 eagerly engage in making digital financial services work better for the majority of underserved communities and businesses in the Arab world. Have a look at these next-gen Fintechs that made it to the finals.

Click on image to watch their pitches!

Finalists in E-KYC for Digital Customer On-boarding

Signzy offers a digital on-boarding solution for banks, NBFCs and other financial institutions. Through a combination of AI and blockchain, the company aims to ensure that digital compliance is both secure and convenient.

Valify provides a variety of solutions to enable users to digitally onboard their customers and ensure they are who they claim to be. The company was created in response to the local movement towards financial inclusion and the massive increase in digital service providers.

INDATACORE provides AI and digital solutions including Sky Identification, an e-KYC solution for digital customer onboarding based on user identification. The company uses OCR streaming with face match streaming and liveness detection to ensure the user is present during Identification.

Shufti Pro is an AI-powered digital identity verification solutions provider offering KYC, KYB, and AML services in 200+ countries and territories. It aims to create a secure and safe online marketplace devoid of identity theft and other fraudulent activities.


Finalists in Digital Lending

Tayyab is a mobile-only shariah complaint banking app for modern Muslims.  It aims to provide a halal marketplace and facilitate Islamic finance literacy among young Muslims globally.

Business Sense is the first fintech solution in Egypt for MSMEs business owners, suppliers, account offices and financial institutions to facilitate communication and collaboration on web & mobile applications, integrated with wallet and payment gateways.

SEVEN is a digital stock management tool that enables local retail to buy and sell stocks, transact online and accept digital payments. The company works with its bank partners to provide free HW to their network of merchants.

Taeawun is an electronic platform that connects customers and banks at a single meeting point.  The platform aims to enhance financial inclusion for retail, individual and SME banking clients at all levels.


Finalists in Digital Financial Services

Raseedy offers a hybrid B2C and B2B approach to digital financial inclusivity enabling a wide range of services. The company’s userbase can seamlessly transfer money, purchase via QR codes, pay bills, issue online virtual debit cards and receive remittance internationally.

Ensabill aims to help consumers cut down on subscription and billing services by tracking unused subscriptions, alerting the user to all recurring payments so they can handle them easily. The service can automatically cancel free trial accounts after they reach the renewal date.

YOLO seeks to educate young people and prepare them to participate in society by introducing an essential core life skill: financial literacy. The app gives parents full control over their children finances allowing them to transfer money to the child’s card while mentoring and encouraging them to save and spend wisely. 

FinFlx is a solution for SMEs to assist their employees and help them improve their financial literacy through an interactive financial education program allowing them to start retirement planning with full transparency and flexibility.


By Sebastian Kausemann & Atilla Yücel