Saudi Arabia’s fintech sandbox welcomes nine more start-ups
The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has welcomed nine new fintechs into is regulatory sandbox.
New joiners include Circles, Manafa Capital, Funding Souq, Nayifat Finance, and Sahlah.
The sandbox is home to 30 fintechs and is part of the authority’s push to promote digitisation across financial services, in line with the Kingdom’s 2030 Financial Sector Development Program.
Among the 30 are start-ups focused on digital payments, currency exchange, micro-lending, financial information aggregation, crowdfunding, international processing and digital savings.
Other fintechs include BayanPay, Tap Payments, Skyband and Lindo Financing. SAMA has received 103 applications from fintechs in total. A full list of all permitted fintechs so far can be found here.
The latest batch to be let in is focused around consumer electronic saving solutions and crowdfunding platforms for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
As well as digitising the financial sector, the sandbox’s framework also sets out to reinforce economic growth and investment activities across the region by diversifying its income sources.
It describes its sandbox as a “safe space” in which financial services firms can test new digital solutions under a set of conditions and limitations designed to protect consumers and relax normal regulatory obligations.
The sandbox welcomes both local and international non-licensed fintechs through its doors. The application process takes 30 days, evaluation – that is, getting the sandbox ready for specific applicants – takes 60 days, and testing takes six months.
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