For years, the Middle East and North Africa’s financial sector has been abuzz with the concept of ‘Open Banking’ – a practice that provides third-party financial service providers standardized access to consumer banking, transaction and other financial data through application programming interfaces, or APIs.
Nowhere is this more true than in Saudi Arabia, where, while still in a stage of relative infancy, fintech innovations form a growing part of the Vision 2030 plans to diversify and transform the economy and lessen dependence on oil.
All while at the same time creating a dynamic job market for Saudis and encouraging a high-tech, digitally focused knowledge economy.
It should come as no surprise that fintech is set for take-off in Saudi Arabia. After all, 70 per cent of the population of 34 million people is under 30 and digitally-savvy. For fintech providers and start-ups alike, it’s a hugely lucrative market.
Additionally, the Kingdom has launched initiatives to support fintech companies, such as the Fintech Regulatory Assessment Tool and FinTech Data and Research Initiative. The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) and Capital Market Authority (CMA) continue to issue regulatory licenses and develop regulations to support fintech activities.