A large number of leading financial technology professionals from the regions of North Africa and the Middle East are preparing to gather for the first Arabian Banking Technology Exhibition and Conference (ABTEC) in Bahrain.
The inaugural conference will run for two days - Tuesday 8 April and Wednesday 9 April - at the Bahrain International Exhibition and Convention Centre. More than 400 delegates from leading financial institutions from across the Mena region are expected to attend the summit, which was launched by the Ebtikar Association and supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Economic Development Board.
The event has been organised at a time when financial services companies in the Middle East and Northern Africa are in a period of investment in IT and technology.
Ebtikar Association founder and president and ABTEC 2014 chairperson Osama Al Khajah said: "In an increasingly digital world, financial institutions must move away from legacy systems in order to deliver more value to the customer, while simultaneously meeting regulatory requirements and managing new risks.
"We are delighted to launch the first edition of ABTEC concurrently with Ebtikar Association's first anniversary and make it an annual international platform for decision makers to meet with cutting edge financial technologies and solutions in Bahrain and discuss, network and do business," he added.
The 'Turning Digital Disruption into Transformational Opportunities' theme for the ABTEC 2014 conference will see new ideas and inspiration shared, as well as discussion on how financial firms can reinvent their business models to deliver digital value.
According to international research firm IDC, IT spending in the Middle East is estimated to exceed $32 billion in 2014, and the financial services sector is one of the biggest drivers of this spending.
A key feature of the event will be an international case study on Fidor Bank, the first online-only bank that operates through the internet and using social media.
By Gary Cooper