Saudi Central Bank Adds 4 Open Banking Startups to Its Regulatory Sandbox4. October 2022
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has added four open banking startups to its regulatory sandbox, bringing the number of companies currently operating under the sandbox to 27.
42 companies have been granted permits to operate under the regulatory sandbox to date, of which 15 have graduated by obtaining full authorisations and licenses.
The previous batch of open banking startups—Mod5r and Lean Technologies—were granted permits in August 2022.
SAMA’s regulatory sandbox was launched in 2018 as part of its efforts to support the Financial Sector Development Programme and the Saudi Vision 2030.
The central bank recently updated the sandbox’s framework to provide more flexibility to prospective local and international applicants, allowing them to apply to join the sandbox anytime.
“When we first started, we heard stories about how strict and intimidating working with SAMA would be. True, it was hard, but the Sandbox team has been incredibly supportive. They were always — patiently — available to help us understand the requirements and provided advice.
They were especially keen on collecting feedback from all the participants. I don’t think there’s a regulator in the world that’s as vested in the success of its members as SAMA. If you are thinking of launching a fintech in Saudi, this is the time,”
said Saeid Hejazi, Founder of Wally.
Wally (Wally Global Arabia) is a personal finance management app that connects to 15,000 banks in 70 countries. Founded in 2014, the company has offices in California, Dubai and Bengaluru.
Founded in 2021, Sanam (Sanam Aliliddikhar for Information Technology) is a personal finance management app that connects to all Saudi banks including Rajhi, Riyadh, SNB, ANB, Alinma, AlBilad, AlJazira, Banque Saudi Fransi and GIB.
Data Insights (Istishraf Al-Bayanat for Financial Technology) is building a localised API hub to enable banks, financial institutions and startups to obtain financial insights and execute transactions. The company was founded in 2020 and is based in Riyadh.