Fintech Galaxy, a UAE-based Central-Bank-regulated open finance platform, has acquired Underlie, an Egyptian open finance banking platform offering APIs to banks and businesses.
UAE-based Fintech Galaxy (FTG), the first Central Bank-regulated open finance platform in the Middle East, has announced the acquisition of Underlie, an Egypt-based open banking platform offering APIs to banks and businesses. According to FTG, the deal will help to further the spread of open finance and open banking across the region. It is hoped that this will spur the development and launch of new digital solutions throughout the Middle East.
Open banking and open finance
Open banking and open finance refers to systems that provide third-party access to financial data through the use of application programming interfaces (APIs).
The two companies are of the belief that open banking and open finance are key drivers behind digital transformation in Egypt. The country has long been one of the MENA region’s leading startup and digital hubs, along with Saudi Arabia and the UAE. According to the companies, cashless payments have grown by 230% in recent years and the local open finance market is expected to grow by 25% annually for the next five years.
Underlie’s existing open banking platform and expertise, along with its strong API connectivity and payment capabilities, has led the company to show significant growth in the Egyptian market. Underlie’s customer-centric approach and ambition to understand the needs of financial institutions and their pain points allows them to provide organizations with new potential revenue streams and tailored products and services.
“Underlie’s expertise in building open banking APIs and knowledge of the local market will help us speed up our Egypt market penetration, boost the expansion in the region and release countless opportunities to create new open banking/open finance-enabled use cases,” said Riyadh Al Zamil, Chairman of Fintech Galaxy’s Board of Directors and Investors. Al Zamil added that all Underlie’s current employees have been retained and warmly welcomed to the Fintech Galaxy Egypt operations.
Fintech Galaxy: Moving the needle
According to Mirna Sleiman, CEO, and Founder of Fintech Galaxy, “The acquisition of Underlie anchors our Open Banking/Open Finance efforts and enables us to succeed in providing enhanced, seamless, and enjoyable financial experiences, expanding, and consolidating our position across the MENA markets. Cross-border collaboration is key to moving the needle on financial inclusion in Egypt and beyond.”
“This acquisition is a testament to the positive impact Underlie has achieved so far”, said Akram Abdou, Founder of Underlie. “We are delighted to join forces with FTG and succeed on the broader regional Open Finance mission.”
Fintech continues to dominate investment in MENA region startups, according to a recent report by Forbes Middle East.