Saudi Arabia: 18 Companies Join Fintech Regulatory Sandbox

Saudi Arabia: 18 Companies Join Fintech Regulatory Sandbox

The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has selected 18 companies to form the second batch of ventures to join its fintech regulatory sandbox. The companies will be testing fintech solutions they intend to launch in the country.

The 18 companies were unveiled by Abdulelah Alsayegh, a fintech entrepreneur in the Middle East involved in companies that include UniGulf, an investment, management and technology company, and Tahseel, a digital wallet.

The companies are:

  • Geidea Solutions, a digital payment company from Saudi Arabia
  • Saudi Post, Saudi Arabia’s postal services provider
  • Saudi Fintech Company (Alinma Pay by Saudi Arabia’s Alinma Bank)
  • Sulfah, a lending startup
  • Maalem Financing Company, a Saudi Arabian company operating in consumer and small and medium-sized enterprise (SMEs) financing, among other areas
  • Digital Colors Co. by Foodics, a company from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that provides a restaurant management system
  • BrightWare, a IT solutions and services provider from Saudi Arabia
  • Tap Payments, a payment startup from Kuwait
  • Rasanah Finance Technology by Creditly, a fintech startup
  • Sure International Technology, an IT company from Saudi Arabia
  • Forus, a peer-to-peer lending platform from Saudi Arabia
  • CodeLab, a provider of management solutions for governments and enterprises from Saudi Arabia
  • Zain KSA, a mobile telecommunications company from Saudi Arabia
  • Alhamrani Universal Company, an electronic banking solutions provider from Saudi Arabia
  • Network International, a payment products and services provider from the UAE
  • SKYBAND, a telecommunication and GSM provider in Saudi Arabia
  • LendoApp, a startup providing digital lending
  • Raqamyah Platform, a peer-to-peer lending platform from Saudi Arabia

The 18 new additions bring the total number of fintech solutions that have joined the regulatory sandbox since its inception to 21, SAMA said on June 12.

SAMA’s fintech regulatory sandbox was launched in February 2019 to help the regulator better understand and assess the impact of new technologies in the financial industry, and “help transform the Kingdom into an intelligent financial center.”

The initiative aims to boost innovation in financial services and digital payments with the goal to facilitate financial transactions and reduce costs.

Selected financial institutions and fintech companies looking to launch in Saudi Arabia get to test their innovative products and business models in a safe environment with relaxed rules.

The regulatory sandbox is part of the Saudi Vision 2030, a plan launched in 2016 to reduce Saudi Arabia’s dependence on oil, diversify its economy and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.

To achieve its strategic goals and targets, twelve programs were established, including the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP), which focuses on transforming and diversifying the financial sector, as well as supporting the national economy through financing and investment initiatives in the private sector.

In the past years, regulators in the Middle East, including the UAE and Bahrain, have taken steps to explore and adopt fintech, formulating regulations to better regulate the sector and foster innovation.

Besides SAMA, Bahrain’s central bank and the financial free zones in Dubai and Abu Dhabi have also been running their very own fintech regulatory sandboxes.


Featured image credit: SAMA