Report Details 11 Fintech Regulatory Sandboxes in MENA in 2022

Report Details 11 Fintech Regulatory Sandboxes in MENA in 2022

The MENA Fintech Association’s (MFTA) Open Finance Working Group has published a new report on the rise of open banking and embedded finance in the Middle East and North Africa.

The report found that regulators in the region have been responding to the growth in open banking activities through new frameworks, licenses and laws to ensure consumer safety.

For example, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) launched its open banking framework in October 2020, while the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) issued its framework in November 2022.

In the UAE, DIFC-based Tarabut Gateway became the first open banking platform to receive a license from the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA).

The report also found that there are 11 fintech regulatory sandboxes in the MENA region as of November 2022, up from four regulatory sandboxes in 2019.

However, only two countries — Bahrain and Saudi Arabia — have implemented a full open banking policy and framework. Kuwait, Egypt, and the UAE have also announced plans to do so.

The “Embedded Finance in the MENA region” report was produced by MFTA with the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), Mastercard, The London Institute of Banking & Finance, Arthur D. Little, Codebase Technologies, Lean Technologies, M2P Fintech, and Tarabut Gateway.

Nameer Khan

Nameer Khan

“We are extremely proud of our Open Finance Working Group and everyone participating in our conversations with the regional regulators. These are true impact makers and innovators striving to make an impact across the region,”

said Nameer Khan, Chairman & Founding Board Member, MENA Fintech Association (MFTA).

Hakan Eroglu

Hakan Eroglu

“The use of APIs for sharing customer-permissioned data and banking capabilities makes embedded finance an efficient and convenient option for providers and recipients of all sizes,”

said Hakan Eroglu, MFTA Open Finance Working Group Lead, Advisor to the MFTA Chairman, and Global Open Banking & Open Data Practice Lead, D&S at Mastercard.

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