Saudi Central Bank Launches Open Banking Lab

Saudi Central Bank Launches Open Banking Lab

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announced the launch of the Open Banking Lab according to the Open Banking Framework issued by SAMA November 2022.

The Open Banking Lab aims to enable innovation and accelerate the development of open banking services in the Kingdom as it serves as one of the most important technical enablers of the open banking ecosystem in the Kingdom. The lab will provide banks and fintechs with a technical testing environment to enable them to develop, test, and certify their open banking services to ensure compatibility with the Open Banking Framework.

Open banking services is a new concept in the financial industry that aims to enable the consumers of financial institutions to securely share their financial data with a third party provider, which in turn provide new and innovative financial services and products for consumers. Open banking services will create a positive impact in the industry by strengthening the partnership between banks and fintechs and improving the financial infrastructure to guarantee better use of consumers’ financial data.

The implementation of open banking services is one of the initiatives of the Fintech Strategy, one of the pillars of the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) under Saudi Vision 2030. The Fintech Strategy was approved by the Council of Ministers in May 2022 and aims to make the Kingdom a global Fintech hub where technology-based innovation in financial services is the foundation as a way to enhance the economic empowerment of individuals and society.


It is worth mentioning that the Saudi Central Bank released the Open Banking Framework November 2022, which includes a comprehensive set of legislation, regulatory guidelines and technical standards based on international best practices to enable banks and fintechs to provide open banking services in the Kingdom. The first version of the open banking services focused on the Account Information Service (AIS), and the second version will focus on the Payment Initiation Service (PIS).

Saudi Central Bank is tracking the development of banks and fintechs to ensure their readiness to launch open banking services within the first quarter of 2023.

 

Featured image credit: edited from Freepik

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