The Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) updated the Regulatory Sandbox framework and granted permits to two fintech firms to operate under its Regulatory Sandbox.
The updated Regulatory Sandbox framework supports the objectives of the Fintech Strategy by promoting further innovations in technology-based financial services. The updated framework supports a broad range of fintech activities through several initiatives serving as catalysts for change, and allows fintech companies to submit Regulatory Sandbox applications as of September 06, 2022. The updated framework of the Regulatory Sandbox is open for both local and international applicants including entrepreneurs, non-regulated companies or existing regulated entities. The updated framework will give greater flexibility to applicants to move from a cohort based approach to an always open approach, providing them the opportunity to apply to the Regulatory Sandbox when they are ready and in addition bring their chosen business model/concept and not work to a specific one determined for the cohort. The central bank, in cooperation with Saudi Fintech, plans to hold an introductory workshop on the updated regulatory framework for the legislative experimental environment in future.
SAMA granted permits to "Lean Technologies" and "Mod5r" to operate under its Regulatory Sandbox, bringing the total number of permitted fintech companies to 38. SAMA clarified that this batch of permitted companies will provide open banking solutions. The permit came concurrently with the Council of Ministers' decision on the second quarter of 2022, which provides for adoption of the Fintech Strategy containing the supreme directive order for the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to be among the leading countries in the field of fintech. SAMA is working alongside other participants, including banks and fintech companies, on developing and implementing an integrated high standard network to carry out open banking solutions in the Kingdom.
Keywords: Middle East and Africa, Saudi Arabia, Banking, Fintech, Regtech, Regulatory Sandbox, Licensing, Open Banking, Fintech Strategy, SAMA
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