Saudi Central Bank Permits 3 New Open Banking Solution Provider Through Its Regulatory Sandbox

Saudi Central Bank Permits 3 New Open Banking Solution Provider Through Its Regulatory Sandbox

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announced granting “Bwatech”, “Rabet”, and “Mala’a”, the permit to operate under its Regulatory Sandbox, bringing the total number of its permitted FinTech companies to 35.

Bwatech, Mala’a and Rabet

The announcement came during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress sponsored by His Royal Highness Prince Mohammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. The conference held from 27 to 30 March 2022 AD in Riyadh, under the slogan “Reboot, Rethink and Regenerate.” was organized by the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monshaat) in cooperation with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).

SAMA clarified that this batch of permitted companies will be able to provide “open banking” services, which will allow their consumers to access their banking information and share it securely with open banking service providers under their clear and explicit consent. These services will consequently enable consumers to benefit from new and innovative financial products and services, ranging from the integration of all bank accounts under a single control panel, to the discovery of seamless patterns of operation for daily banking activities.

This newly permitted batch of companies falls under the operational framework of the Regulatory Sandbox in line with SAMA’s endeavor to digitize and improve financial services, accelerate the digital transformation of the financial sector, and understand and evaluate the impact of newly introduced technologies on the Kingdom’s financial services sector, all done in accordance with requirements and objectives of the Financial Sector Development Program of “Saudi Vision 2030”.

SAMA Open Banking Policy

It is worth noting that in 2021, SAMA announced the “Open Banking Policy” which covers the objectives and stages of the Kingdom’s Open Banking program. Meanwhile, SAMA is working with the financial sector to build and equip an integrated system for the implementation of open banking services across the Kingdom, in accordance with the best regulatory standards for new and innovative services and technologies according to predefined timeframe.

These companies were granted the approval to carry on their services through the Regulatory Sandbox in parallel with the ongoing work by SAMA in cooperation with the financial sector to set the foundation for an open banking system within the Kingdom; with the aim of testing some new business models derived from the application of open banking practices in order to identify potential and prospective challenges., and adequately address these challenges at the launch of open banking services. This stage of the program will also encourage financial sector participants to start designing and planning for the implementation of new and innovative financial products and services that are in accordance with relevant open banking practices.

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