Saudi Central Bank debuts new open banking framework
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has unveiled its new open banking framework as the country prepares to launch open banking services early next year.
The framework 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 Saudi Arabia as early as Q1 2023.
The move forms part of the country’s Open Banking Program and wider “fintech strategy”. Approved by the government in May this year, the strategy aims to make Saudi Arabia a “global fintech hub”. It is also a key pillar of the country’s Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP), which itself was developed as part of the Saudi Vision 2030 strategic framework to boost and diversify the nation’s economy.
“Open banking creates a positive impact in the industry by strengthening the partnership between banks and fintechs,” SAMA says. “It also improves the financial infrastructure and guarantees better use of financial data for customers.”
The central bank says that it has permitted “a number of fintechs” to provide open banking services as part of the SAMA Regulatory Sandbox.
“This step came in parallel with the Open Banking Program, with a view for testing some new business models and identifying the regulatory and technical challenges, which were considered when developing the Open Banking Framework,” SAMA adds.