The International Financial Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank, has launched its DigiLab Finance training and support program with the objective of improving financial services available to consumers.
The action was undertaken in order to increase financial inclusion and support the digital transformation of financial institutions across Africa and the Middle East, according to the IFC.
DigiLab Finance is a capacity building program that equips selected financial institutions, including banks, microfinance institutions and digital financial services providers, with practical knowledge and tools to help them develop digital strategies and adapt to technological trends accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic and better serve their clients, according to the IFC.
"Coronavirus has changed the way we live and work and has made digital transformation for financial institutions more important than ever. Banks across the region have already made good progress adapting new technologies, although implementation of full digital transformation remains a challenge. The DigiLab program will help improve on this aspect of implementation and is part of IFC's broader strategy to support a stronger, more sustainable financial sector,” Riadh Naouar the IFC’s manager for Africa and the Middle East said.
IFC introduced DigiLab Finance to Latin America and the Caribbean in 2018 and then to Europe and Central Asia in 2020.
Since its launch, DigiLab has supported 23 financial institutions implement new business structures, launch digital products that better serve customer needs, and explore partnerships with fintechs or other tech providers.
The COVID-19 pandemic and its related impacts are expected to contribute to a stronger financial services field than ever in MENA region, according to the MEA fintech forum that held in November.