More than 600 financial technology professionals will converge in Bahrain when the first edition of the Arabian Banking Technology Exhibition & Conference (ABTEC) opens its doors on 8 and 9 April 2014, at the Bahrain International Exhibition & Convention Centre.
In its inaugural edition, ABTEC has drawn more than 70 international exhibitors from 35 countries, including country pavilions from Hungary and Romania, and is set to become the largest gathering of financial technology leaders in the MENA region.
ABTEC takes place at a time when the region’s financial services industry is in the midst of an IT spending boom. According to international research firm IDC, IT spending in the Middle East is estimated to exceed US$32 billion in 2014, and the financial services sector is one of the biggest drivers of this spending.
Held under the theme “Turning Digital Disruption into Transformational Opportunities”, the ABTEC 2014 conference is packed with new ideas and inspiration on how financial firms can reinvent their business models to deliver digital value. The programme, led by renowned financial industry expert Chris Skinner, features case studies from a number of institutions including the Central Bank of Jordan, Commercial Bank of Dubai, Commercial Bank of Qatar, Al Khaliji Bank and Amman Stock Exchange. A key highlight of the conference is an international case study on Fidor Bank, the world’s first online-only bank that operates only through the Internet and using social media.
Running alongside the conference is a sell-out exhibition that features a wide array of game-changing innovations, from applications that replace passwords with pictures, to solutions that enable users to interact with online banking without the need to touch a keyboard or mouse.
In a major coup for the events industry, ABTEC has become the first major IT event in the Middle East region to deploy Poken, an award-winning handheld technology that enables participants to exchange information digitally, eliminating the need for business cards or printed collateral. By using Poken, the organisers expect to save as many as 4 trees worth of paper.
In another regional first, the organisers have introduced the ABTEC DEMO Programme which brings together 10 award-winning financial technology providers to present their latest innovations in a series of rapid-fire, 7-minute demos that preclude the use of presentation slides or videos.
“We are proud to have the most compelling mix of exhibitors, speakers, technology and content to engage the audience at ABTEC,” said Syed Faisal Abbas, Managing Director, Pinnacle IMG, organisers of the event. “This event is truly unmissable for any financial firm that has an eye on the future and seeks to be at the forefront of technological innovation.”
“In its launch year, ABTEC has surpassed all expectations and we are delighted by the overwhelming support that we have received. This is clearly one of the most successful and high-profile event launches in the MENA region in recent years, and we are confident that ABTEC will go on to become the region’s pre-eminent global forum on innovation in finance.”
ABTEC 2014 is supported by the Central Bank of Bahrain and the Bahrain Association for Banks and promoted in Bahrain by Ebtikar Association. The event’s sponsors include Bahrain Economic Development Board (Diamond Sponsor); DirectFN (Platinum Sponsor); Temenos, Wipro and ITS (Gold Sponsors); ETRONIKA, TradeNet, Forte Wares, Finesse and BATEC (Silver Sponsors), Path Solutions (Islamic Banking Technology Partner); Bahrain Institute of Banking & Finance (Knowledge Partner); and IBS Intelligence, Bobsguide and Bahrain Banker (Media Partners). InterContinental Regency Bahrain is the Official Hotel and Gulf Air, the Official Airline of the event.