Rabet Financial has become the first company to secure regulatory permission for its Open Banking solution, after a rigorous process to demonstrate compliance with the mandated regulatory requirements and extensive testing in the Regulatory Sandbox set up by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA). The fintech also announced that it has been working with a number of leading Saudi banks, to connect them to the Open Banking ecosystem.
The announcement comes twelve months after SAMA announced its Open Banking Policy, designed to support Vision 2030 objectives by increasing competition and raising efficiency and trust in the financial services sector. SAMA’s roadmap had anticipated a go-live date during the first half of 2022, a target which has been met by Rabet and its clients, underlining the strategic importance of the Open Banking initiative.
Open Banking removes complexity from traditional banking services and improves the customer experience by consolidating information and making it easily accessible. It provides a new level of transparency which allows bank customers to increase awareness of their financial health and evaluate options for budgeting, saving and investing. They can proactively manage their choices through a user-friendly and convenient app and benefit from advanced in-app financial analysis and smart advisory services fuelled by an AI engine. Also, other financial services including payments will be introduced in alignment with the SAMA roadmap.
Innovative digital technologies allow banks to deploy new solutions efficiently and cost-effectively, without the burden of lengthy, expensive development and integration projects. Open Banking uses APIs to enable rapid product deployment and facilitate data sharing. Meanwhile, regulatory oversight from SAMA applies supervisory procedures and performance monitoring to ensure consumers can have full confidence in new products and services.
Following lengthy collaboration between Rabet and the partner banks, Saudi National Bank and Bank AlJazira became the first institutions to connect to Rabet and onboard the first Open Banking users in the Kingdom. Additional partner banks are expected to follow in the near future, opening the door to an innovative ecosystem that will be one of the main drivers of the Vision’s Financial Sector Development Program.
“Open Banking is a field where financial institutions and fintechs can collaborate productively by taking a customer-centric approach for the ultimate benefit of consumers and businesses,” commented Faris Albugami, CEO of Rabet. Referring to the Financial Sector Development Program, part of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 initiative to create an efficient, inclusive and modern financial services ecosystem, he added “We are grateful to SAMA, SNB and Bank AlJazira for the opportunity to demonstrate that, by working together, we can increase the agility of the sector and achieve the Central Bank’s objectives faster.”