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    SAMA Grants License to Fintech Companies, Extends Guarantee Program

    March 28, 2022

    The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) granted two fintech firms permits to operate under its Regulatory Sandbox, licensed three new companies specialized in finance and electronic payments, and extended guaranteed financing program.

    Below are the key highlights of the recent updates:

    • SAMA granted permit to "Bwatech, Rabet, and Mala'a" to operate under its Regulatory Sandbox, bringing the total number of permitted fintech companies to 35. SAMA clarified that this batch of permitted companies will be able to provide "open banking" services, which will allow consumers to access their banking information and share it securely with open banking service providers with clear and explicit consent.
    • SAMA granted license to a new financial technology company named Etihad Fintech Company "Mobily Pay," which specializes in electronic payments. The newly licensed company is now eligible to provide e-wallet payment services, thus bringing the total number of payment companies licensed by SAMA to 17. SAMA also kick-started the licensing of debt-based crowdfunding by granting "Lendo" the license to conduct certain financial activities and followed-up on the licensing of consumer microfinance activities by issuing a second license to "FinZey."
    • SAMA extended the Guaranteed Financing Program for one more year until March 14, 2023, for micro, small, and medium enterprises (MSMEs). This step is consistent with the SAMA mandate of promoting financial sector stability, supporting economic growth, and enhancing the Saudi Central Bank's support to MSME growth and to overcome challenges that arise from COVID-19 preventive measures. 


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    Keywords: Middle East and Africa, Saudi Arabia, Banking, Fintech, Regtech, Licensing, Regulatory Sandbox, SMEs, Credit Risk, Covid-19, Financing Program, Lending, Crowdfunding Service Providers, SAMA

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