DigitalMarketing, InboundMarketing, SEO, StartUp

FinTech is seeing a big boom in the Middle East. Here are the best 5 FinTech startups topping the ladder and their excellent digital marketing strategies!

The Middle East region is already quite far ahead in the FinTech growth competition by giving big guns like the UK a tough time in cradling its crown. It is very likely that within the next few years, the country that boasted $50.9 billion of investment in FinTech back in 2019 is going to be dethroned.

The FinTech sector in the Middle East is growing with a compounded rate of 30%. By 2022, 800+ FinTech companies are predicted to raise over $2 billion in venture capital. What’s more, 80 new FinTech startups joined the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) in 2020 which was a massive 75% year-over-year increase.

The numbers keep coming in, regularly contributing to the growing database that ultimately titles the Middle East as the leading FinTech region of the new decade.


What makes the FinTech sector of the UAE so successful?

There are a few key players in the FinTech sector in UAE that makes it an ever-growing industry that no other region is competent to match. Let’s get a brief overview of those factors before we delve into the blockbuster digital marketing strategies of the top 5 FinTech startups in the Middle East. 


1. Magnificent investments

Like we earlier mentioned, by 2022, FinTech companies of the UAE are anticipated to raise around $2 billion as VC funding and more than 500 FinTech startups will benefit from this grand investment.

The fifth edition of the Abu Dhabi FinTech Festival is a surefire way to raise funding, discover untapped potential, brainstorm, get entities involved, and put new innovations to work. The event that takes place every year from October-November brings forward immense opportunities and growth that is hardly achievable otherwise.




The UAE has a very large expatriate population which means that three-quarters of remittances are transferred to India, Pakistan, and the Philippines, according to the Milken Institute report. As a result, startups focusing on payments, remittances, insurance, online lending, Neo banking, digital banking, crowdfunding, and blockchain have enjoyed the biggest slice of investments.


2. Demographics

The Middle East countries including GCC, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, to name a few, are home to the youngest population of the world. MENA, short for the Middle East and North Africa, encompasses 450 million people, out of which more than half of the population is 25 years old or younger.

This means it spans around 225 million potential customers who are the biggest, and next-generation internet or mobile users. Mobile penetration is like the backbone of FinTech growth, and the Middle East has topped that to 100% already. Therefore, FinTech cannot only survive but really thrive in the UAE.


3. Pioneering digital marketing

And lastly, the third reason as to why UAE’s FinTech sector is blossoming like a budding flower is because of its adoption of advanced, transformative, and top-notch digital marketing strategies. FinTech startups and established companies employ tailored and curated in-person marketing materials to accelerate results.

And that smoothly brings us to the main goal of this article; exploring the digital marketing strategies of these top FinTech startups.


Revealing the digital marketing tactics of top FinTech startups


1. Liv

Liv was founded in 2017. It is a virtual Neo bank with around more than 10,000 employees headquartered in Dubai. The customer base is growing rapidly with over 400,000 buyers, making it one of the self-confessed, fastest-growing banks of UAE.




Liv rewards its customers with competitive interest rates and exclusive deals, allowing easy tracking of spending history, splitting of bills, as well as a credit card accessible from within the app.

Social Media is the new KING!

When it comes to digital marketing, Liv knows how to turn the heat on with social media. It went as far as rewarding a customer with their own private island as a part of its marketing campaign. Talk about generating the winning campaign. As a result of this strategy, Liv converted thousands of customers in one go.


2. Tabby

Tabby was founded just two years ago, in 2019, and it couldn’t have come at a better time. Soon after the founding year, this “buy now, pay later” service got to see the light of the day in 2020 when the COVID-19 was wreaking havoc.




Online shopping skyrocketed, hitting a 13-year high, as it allowed customers to pay only a small amount (25% of transaction) at the time of the purchase and spread the rest of the cost into interest-free instalments either on a weekly or monthly basis. Boom!


Convenience, convenience, and more convenience!

Besides the very convenient, alternative solution to an otherwise pressing problem of consumers, Tabby does an equally excellent job at marketing its BNPL service. It has recently kickstarted the Tabby CashBack program, funded by the platform’s retail partners, which will offer loyal customers physical cash as a reward. It employs digital tools, having accelerated since the pandemic, to interact and engage with customers. The entire sales process has moved online, from pitching, to demos, contract signing, and even onboarding. In addition to being very efficient, Tabby’s digital face-front is a convincing approach to capture its targeted customers.


3. Ila Bank

Founded in 2018, Ila Bank is a Neo bank, headquartered in Bahrain. The founders were aware that traditional banking needed a revamp, which is why they put forward a unique FinTech service — that completely eliminated the need to visit bank branches even at the most crucial moments.




Ila Bank is exclusively digital, living inside your mobile phone, which makes its application one of the best mobile-optimised. It promises relationship building as the key to money management, thereby compelling customers to use their service more in order to benefit from the digital bank’s AI getting to them and their spending habits, better.


Mobile-first, Mobile-second!

Ila Bank has won the Digital Banking Experience of the Year award, which makes it one of the best FinTech startups to gain mastery over digital and inbound marketing strategies. It applies customer engagement, mobile-first experience, and a mix of healthy content types such as Founder interview in a video marketing measure.


4. Ajar Online

Ajar Online is an online property management and rent collection platform that uses financial technology to make the lives of landlords and tenants, collectively easier. Landlords, using this easy-to-use app, can automatically send customised invoices, receive tenant messages, and generate detailed reports to optimise their property management — all within one platform. Tenants, similarly, receive due rent alerts and can pay cash digitally.




Ajar Online was founded in 2016 and it became an instant hit in Kuwait, where it is headquartered. Numerous real estate companies, property owners, and tenants use the app to manage their finances.


SEO is the backbone of any serious Digital Marketing strategy!

Ajar Online uses a powerful SEO strategy and applies it to a series of blog posts on its website. Paired with an excellent mobile-optimised app, social media engagement, SEO-optimised content, as well as a clean and simple website layout, Ajar Online makes it to our list of top 5 FinTech startups.


5. NymCard

NymCard was founded in 2018 and things seem very bright for the payment-processing and card issuing company. Located in Abu Dhabi, UAE, NymCard operates in a cloud and employs a number of open APIs to automate processes and provide 3D secure authentication. The solution works in an end-to-end model, where there are minimal to zero risk cybersecurity threats, making it an extremely attractive product without compliance issues.



NymCard’s solid business model helped it raise a whopping $7.6 million in its Series A funding.

LinkedIn is SUPER-IMPORTANT for FinTech Companies!

NymCard actively engages on social channels including LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. It integrates content marketing, social media marketing, and branding strategy to have scaled successfully in the last few years. The website also has a blog that is updated with SEO strategy and optimisation


Final Thoughts

The future promises lucrative outcomes for all of these top 5 FinTech startups in MENA as well as plenty of more financial technology services in the region. Their unconventional business model is only half of the win; the digital and inbound marketing strategies that they apply secure them leads converted sales, and winning campaigns.

Startups seem to be picking up pace in the Middle East, which should compel you to take the step ahead and kickstart your promising future. Which strategy (or rather the combination of different strategies) did you like the most? Feel free to comment, share with your circle, and leave your feedback below!

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