Challenger Banks in Middle East And Africa - Growth, Trends, COVID-19 Impact, and Forecasts (2022 - 2027)

The Challenger Banks Market in the Middle East And Africa is segmented based on services offered and the end-user type - Growth, Trends, and Forecast (2020-2025)

Market Snapshot

Challenger Banks in Middle East And Africa (2020-2025)
Study Period: 2016 - 2026
Base Year: 2021
CAGR: 10.5 %

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Market Overview

Abu Dhabi Global Market rolled out new digital banking licenses during the summer, hoping to attract new investors.

For now, there are only a handful of digital banks in MENA. All of them operate under an established lender’s license, such as Emirates NDB’s Liv; Mashreq Neo; CBD Now; meem by Gulf International Bank; and soon Bank ABC, Bahrain’s neobank.

There is increasing incorporation of digital means by the traditional players in the region and with a sigma to opt for bank credit in this region, unbanked population levels are always recorded high. There has been a decreasing trend in the unbanked population levels in the region. And the present pandemic conditions increased the importance of digital adoption. 

The main challenge today remains onboarding and customer experience, both of which are still very manual and inefficient. Digital banks could also open up opportunities for local entrepreneurs—although barriers to entry and the sheer scale of traditional banks make it difficult to imagine a digital-only challenger bank starting from scratch in the Middle East. Challenger banks and neobanks from Indian sub-continent, Britain and the US are expanding into the region. 

Scope of the Report

An understanding of the Challenger Banks in the Middle East And Africa, regulatory environment, challengers banks and their business models, along with detailed market segmentation, product offerings such as deposits, loans to define their financial performance indicators, current market trends, changes in market dynamics, and growth opportunities. In-depth analysis of the market size and forecast for the various segments.

By Service Type
Savings Products
Current Account
Consumer Credit
By End-User Type
Business Segment
Personal Segment

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Key Market Trends

Market Opportunity: Large Unbanked Population in the region

Having a bank account and being able to withdraw or transfer money at any time is one of the things that people in developed countries take for granted, like clean water, electricity, or, to a lesser extent, internet access. In many regions of the world, however, access to basic financial services is anything but given with 1.7 billion people still “unbanked” in 2017 according to the World Bank.

Thanks to the rise of digital payment options and challenger bank - friendly regulatory environment in the region. The number of unbanked population in the region, as a whole, are reducing over the years. 


Market Restraint: Cost of opening New business is high

The high cost of starting a new business in the U.A.E. is another challenge facing startups. However, the situation improved this year (2019 & 2020) with stimulus packages. For example, Abu Dhabi’s 50 billion-dirham over three years, which aims to reduce the cost of doing business, support SMEs, industrial companies, and infrastructure. More relaxed rules on fintech startups are likely to help ease the cost burden in the early years given that scalability remains an issue.


Competitive Landscape

The report includes an overview of challenger banks operating across the region. We wish to present detailed profiling of a few major companies which cover product offerings, regulations governing them, their headquarters, and financial performance. Currently, some of the major players dominating the market are listed below.

Table of Contents


    1. 1.1 Study Deliverables

    2. 1.2 Study Assumptions

    3. 1.3 Scope of the Study




    1. 4.1 Market Overview

    2. 4.2 Insights on Partnerships between Challenger Players And Other Fintechs

    3. 4.3 Latest Technologies Deployed by Challengers in Banking System

    4. 4.4 Performance Indicators of Challenger Banks

    5. 4.5 Industry Policies And Government Regulations

    6. 4.6 Market Drivers

    7. 4.7 Market Restraints

    8. 4.8 Value Chain / Supply Chain Analysis

    9. 4.9 Porters 5 Force Analysis

      1. 4.9.1 Threat of New Entrants

      2. 4.9.2 Bargaining Power of Buyers/Consumers

      3. 4.9.3 Bargaining Power of Suppliers

      4. 4.9.4 Threat of Substitute Products

      5. 4.9.5 Intensity of Competitive Rivalry

    10. 4.10 Impact of COVID-19 on the Market


    1. 5.1 By Service Type

      1. 5.1.1 Payments

      2. 5.1.2 Savings Products

      3. 5.1.3 Current Account

      4. 5.1.4 Consumer Credit

      5. 5.1.5 Loans

      6. 5.1.6 Others

    2. 5.2 By End-User Type

      1. 5.2.1 Business Segment

      2. 5.2.2 Personal Segment


    1. 6.1 Market Competition Overview (Market Concentration And M&A Deals)

    2. 6.2 Company Profiles

      1. 6.2.1 Bank ABC

      2. 6.2.2 Meem Bank

      3. 6.2.3 Pepper

      4. 6.2.4 Halalah

      5. 6.2.5 CBD Now

      6. 6.2.6 Clearly

      7. 6.2.7 Liv Bank

      8. 6.2.8 Mashreq Neo

      9. 6.2.9 MoneySmart

      10. 6.2.10 Xpence*

    3. *List Not Exhaustive

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Frequently Asked Questions

The Challenger Banks in Middle East And Africa market is studied from 2016 - 2026.

The Challenger Banks in Middle East And Africa is growing at a CAGR of 10.5% over the next 5 years.

Bank ABC, Meem Digital Bank, HalalaH , CBD Now Bank, Liv Bank are the major companies operating in Challenger Banks in Middle East And Africa.

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