The MEA Finance Transaction Banking Summit took place in Riyadh on Wednesday the 12th of June 2024. Held in partnership with Swift and taking place at the VOCO Hotel in Riyadh, the event drew together just over 400 delegates. With a line-up of more than 35 speakers comprising leading figures directly engaged with transaction banking and also from the key technology players that alongside the banks and corporations, will enhance this essential segment of the regional banking markets.

The one-day summit included five panel discussions in front of a highly engaged and diverse audience of delegates, many of whom had travelled from around the GCC to attend this special occasion. The event focused on matters concerning the role of transaction banking in the growth of regional economies, how to identify and face associated risks, through to the role of technology, cross-border payments and the effects of AI.

Proceedings started with an opening keynote address by Mr. Mohammed Alsarrani, Deputy Director General of the Financial Sector Development Programme (FSDP) which, aligned with Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Finance, plays a key role in shaping the future of the country’s financial sector.

The summit then continued with the first panel discussion –Can Transaction Banking and Payments help build a future of strength for the Region? Speakers were Ahmed Abu Khamsin, EVP, Global Transaction Banking Head, The Saudi National Bank – SNB; Rakan Alajroush, SVP, Head of Global Transaction Banking at Riyad Bank; Reem Alshammari, Head of Treasury and Trade Solutions – KSA, Citi; Thierry Simon, Chief Executive Officer, Union of Arab & French Banks (UBAF); Siva Subramaniam, Head – Product Management – Payments & Cash Management, Infosys Finacle; Nahim Bassa, SVP, Group Head of Strategy & Transformation, Bank Aljazira; Gurpreet Saluja, Executive Director, Financial Services, JP Morgan, moderated by Balaji Muthu, Executive Director – MENA at Mindgate Solutions.

The following panel – Taking Risk – Management and Mitigation of Risk in Transaction Banking included Karim Sanjakdar, Enterprise Business Development Manager at Allied Engineering Group (AEG); Damon Madden, Strategic Solution Consultant – Fraud, MEASA, ACI Worldwide; Najma Salman, Managing Director, Co-Head – Central Europe, Middle East & Africa for Institutional Cash & Trade, Deutsche Bank; Wissam Massud, Director of International Expansion and Alliances, haifin; Oleksandr Savchenko, Executive Director – Head of Trade, Working Capital & Transaction Banking, Standard Chartered Bank, and moderated by Huny Garg, Country Manager – KSA at Swift.

A presentation to the audience made by Balaji Muthu, Executive Director – MENA at Mindgate Solutions, entitled The Role and Achievements of Banks with their Enablers preceded the next topical panel debate,

Help or Hinder? Technology in Transaction Banking whose speakers included, Haitham Abu-Ghazaleh, Head of Enterprise Risk Management at a locally based credit bureau; Talat Qureishi, Vice President, Business Development Commercial EEMEA, Mastercard; Amol Bahuguna, SVP, Head of Corporate Technology, Innovation and Change Management, Riyad Bank; Balaji Muthu, Executive Director – MENA, Mindgate Solutions; Ahmad Ghandour, Managing Director – Middle East, Backbase; Waqas Khan, Head of Enterprise Architecture, BSF; Venkata Surya Prasad Indraganti, Senior AGM, Head of Transaction Banking, Commercial Bank of Qatar, and with Suruj Dutta, Partner & Head of Payments, MENA at EY as the moderator.

Before the next panel discussion was a presentation – Generative AI: Reinventing the Banking processed with IBM watsonx, with Olga J. Parra, Data & AI Brand Leader at IBM Middle East and Africa, followed by the fourth panel,

2027 and Beyond – Managing and Enhancing Domestic and Cross-Border Payments. At this discussion were, Cem Soydemir, Head of Payments Go-To-Market, MEA, Swift; Alexis Haessler, Regional Head Middle East and Levant; ACI Worldwide; Shaikh Manzoor Sabir, Head of Cash Products, Gulf International Bank; Finali Fernando, Managing Director, Regional Head of Products, CCO and Business Management, HSBC; Dr. Ahmed Darwish, Head of Digital Delivery, Bank Albilad; Anand Sampath, Managing Director, Head – Global Payments & Collections, First Abu Dhabi Bank, and once again moderated by Suruj Dutta, Partner & Head of Payments, MENA at EY.

Following lunch, the final panel of the day was preceded by the presentation – Innovations in Financial Messaging, brought to the delegates by Joude Badra, General Manager – KSA at Dixio.

The fifth and last panel of the event, Intelligence Test – The Role of AI and The Cloud, included Sajjad Baloch, Head of Applications Development, Bayan Credit Bureau; Marwan Dardounh, Chief Technology Officer, IBM Saudi Arabia; Deekshith Marla, Founder of arya.ai, an Aurion Pro Company; Bushra Alghamdi, Head of Artificial Intelligence, Alinma Bank; Ladle Patel, Senior AI Advisor, Arab National Bank, with Martin Blechta, Partner from Boston Consulting Group as the discussion moderator.

The MEA Finance Transaction Banking Summit, 2024 was supported by our partner in this event, Swift, and by the following valued sponsors.

Mindgate Solutions as the exclusive Platinum Sponsor; ACI worldwide, DiXio, IBM and Infosys Finacle were Gold Sponsors; aurionpro, Backbase, FAB and haifin were the Silver level sponsors and the event Badge Sponsor was AEG – Allied Engineering Group. The Official Exhibition Partner was Fintech Surge.