Tapping into MENA through Digital Lending Solutions: Featuring MIZA Fintech
From significantly enhanced customer experience, and notably reduced costs to a highly secured risk profile, digital lending proved to be a powerful enabler of financial inclusion.
In simpler terms, digital lending is a streamlined process and a cost-efficient solution for loans that are applied for, allocated, and managed on a digital platform. The platform allows lenders to utilise collected data analytics to make informed credit decisions and determine portfolio profitability.
Mohamed Wefati, Founder and CEO of MIZA Fintech, one of the FinTech companies that is focused on promoting digital lending solutions in key markets in the MENA region, shared MIZA’s journey with us.
How did it begin?
MIZA has pivoted in the past 12 months to focus its efforts on pioneering digital lending solutions by utilizing blockchain technology for both SME lending and personal loans. Their strategic partnerships with R3 & Microsoft’s Blockchain team allowed them to focus their resources on building niche business models that MIZA are finding to be relevant to partner banks they engage with across the markets they are operating within.
What Sets MIZA Apart?
Today MIZA is active in Bahrain, UAE, Tunisia, Libya and are working on prospects in Egypt & KSA. Across these markets they are working diligently to standardize their core technology stack and to enhance their relevant business models to suit local market needs.
MIZA partners with banks to align their product offering to reduce the bank cost and to deliver lending services more efficiently. Their focus on Islamic banking started in early 2019 when they initially engaged and partnered with the ICD, a member of the Islamic Development Bank Group, on developing a model for digitizing Murabaha contracts.
Their unique proposition in this specific product “eMurabaha” has generated significant interests in engaging with banks in the countries of their operational focus.
MIZA also integrates blockchain through distributed ledger technology (DLT), a database centralised across several locations or among multiple participants. The DLT engages multiple stakeholders to share data that in turn allows them to power credit scoring engines with alternative and rich data sources, which ultimately exemplifies their focus on SME lending.
To sum up, MIZA’s ethos is to focus on product development. With a focus on the use-case and business model, MIZA adapts its technology accordingly.
Why Bahrain & Bahrain FinTech Bay?
“Bahrain's FinTech ecosystem is vibrant, and the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) was the first in the region to adopt the regulatory sandbox, which enabled us and other FinTechs to have the legitimacy to access the market and engage the banks and other key stakeholders. We see Bahrain as a solid launch pad for the region and the work being done at FinTech Bay is truly innovative and dynamic.” Said Mohamed
One key observation by Mohamed, is the combination of humility and attention to detail that makes it easy for a foreign startup to feel welcome and ambitious to dedicate its efforts to innovate. These key cultural ingredients are important to help create the confidence by which an entrepreneur can take risks. Beyond that the support offered by programs such as Tamkeen allow a startup to feel very confident to engage the Bahraini talent pool and embrace the routine challenges of market entry.
“MIZA was accepted with open arms in Bahrain, thanks to the 100 Arab Start up initiative by the World Economic Forum and the subsequent specialized program launched by the Bahrain EDB. The ecosystem in the Kingdom is vibrant and very encouraging for a startup with multiple opportunities to access the market and innovate with banks, insurance and other key institutions in the financial services industry. Miza’s partnership with Bahrain FinTech Bay is the driving force of our existence in Bahrain and without the support of the team here we would not have made the commitment to pursue our ambitions and focus on the market opportunities in Bahrain.” - He concluded.