SAMA and CMA select Deloitte for Fintech Saudi’s Makken program

27 December 2023 3 min. read

Saudi Arabia’s central bank (SAMA) and Capital Market Authority (CMA) have launched a new financial technology program called Makken to support and develop the fintech sector. Deloitte serves as the program’s key partner.

Formally inaugurated last week at a launch ceremony, Makken (which means empower) is a program designed to support entrepreneurs and startups in Saudi Arabia’s fintech industry through financial support and a comprehensive suite of advisory and coaching services.

Makken aims to empower 150 emerging fintech companies over a three-year period, directly contributing to the further growth of Saudi Arabia’s financial services landscape.

SAMA and CMA select Deloitte for Fintech Saudi’s Makken program

The program is overseen by Fintech Saudi, an initiative by SAMA and CMA that aims to build a thriving and responsible fintech ecosystem in the Kingdom. The investment meanwhile falls under the umbrella of the Financial Sector Development Program.

Saudi Central Bank Governor Ayman Al-Sayari said at the launch ceremony that fintechs are a crucial contributor to the development agenda within financial services. He noted that fintechs drive innovation and digitization across the landscape, including on topics such as open banking, open finance, payments, customer-focused banking solutions, decentralized finance, and more.

Further reading: One fifth of Middle East bank holders now use FinTech solutions.

Al-Sayari added that fintechs are also a driver of employment growth. “Since the beginning of 2023, around 3,000 direct jobs have been created in the fintech sector, bringing the total number of jobs in the sector to more than 5,000 by the end of the third quarter of this year.”

Fintechs that sign up to the Makken program will have to come through a rigorous due diligence, with just 150 slots open over the course of the program’s duration. Those selected will benefit from the counsel and expertise of Deloitte, which has been appointed as the program’s formal partner.

“We are proud of Deloitte’s partnership with the Saudi Central Bank and Capital Market Authority on this game changing fintech program, fueling the growth of this key sector in the Saudi economy and its ongoing transformation,” said Mutasem Dajani, CEO of Deloitte in the Middle East.

Deloitte CEO Mutasem Dajani during the launch event of Makken

Deloitte CEO Mutasem Dajani during the launch event of Makken

Participating fintechs in the Makken program will be hosted on Deloitte’s cloud managed services model driven by OpenCloud, providing automation, cloud optimization and cybersecurity services for multi-cloud workloads.  

Ali Hamid, partner at Deloitte and leader of the Cloud practice said, “Our OpenCloud platform will provide fintechs with cloud infrastructure that enables rapid delivery to support secure, compliant, scalable and agile operations, allowing these startups to focus on building their innovate products and services, whilst Deloitte provides the managed services and cyber security controls.”