The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announces granting permit to a new batch of companies to provide Open Banking Solutions in the Regulatory Sandbox; Wally Global Arabia, Sanam Aliliddikhar for Information Technology, Istishraf Al-Bayanat for Financial Technology, and Spare Arabian Financial Company. This will bring the total number of permitted firms operating under SAMA's Regulatory Sandbox to 42, of which 15 have graduated by obtaining full authorizations and were licensed by SAMA.
This step continues progress towards a number of ambitious strategic objectives including promoting and diversifying the financial services offered within the financial sector, boosting savings, payments, and investment activities, and increasing the level of financial inclusion and financial awareness among all community segments in accordance with the objectives of the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) of "Saudi Vision 2030". In addition, this step contributes towards achieving the objectives of the FinTech Strategy and the economic growth in Saudi Arabia to be one of the world's leading countries in the field.
It is worth noting that SAMA has recently updated its Regulatory Sandbox Framework to an Always Open Approach. The updated framework adopts greater flexibility by enabling financial institutions, as well as local and international Startups to apply anytime throughout the year, and bring more innovative business models to their clients. SAMA has been working with market participants including banks and FinTechs to develop an integrated platform for Open Banking in accordance with international best regulatory and technical practices as this should enable participants to develop and launch new and innovative Open Banking Solutions. For more information, please check SAMA's website.