Saudi central bank grants open banking licenses to fintech firms
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has announced the licensing of two new fintech companies, Lean Technologies, and Mod5r. The two firms will offer open banking solutions across the Kingdom.
This brings the total number of fintech companies permitted to operate under the bank’s regulatory pilot environment to 38.
The move is part of many taken to achieve a set of strategic goals, including activating the role of SAMA in achieving the goals of Saudi’s Vision 2030 through the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP). The program aims to encourage economic growth, savings, and investment, and promote financial inclusion.
In addition, the licensing coincides with the Cabinet’s decision in Q2 2022, which stipulates the adoption of a fintech strategy that builds on supreme directives to make Saudi among the leading countries in the fintech field.
Currently, SAMA is developing and implementing a high-level integrated network in collaboration with other parties in the financial sector, including banks and fintech companies, in order to continue adopting open banking solutions in Saudi by promoting the best innovative practices within a specific timeframe.
The fintech industry is expanding in the Kingdom. For instance, the Saudi National Bank (SNB) and the Saudi-based fintech company CASHIN signed a contract last week to help small and mid-sized enterprises (SMEs) with financial transactions.
As part of Saudi’s Vision 2030, local entities are investing in a range of cutting-edge technologies, including cloud services, blockchain, and the metaverse, among others. During H1 2022, venture capital investments in Saudi startups increased by more than 200 percent.