Bahrain, UAE and Saudi Arabia Recognized as Open Banking Leaders in the GCC

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Bahrain

Bahrain, UAE and Saudi Arabia Recognized as Open Banking Leaders in the GCC

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In the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC), the open banking phenomenon is evolving at a rapid pace. Across the region, regulators are embracing the imperative aggressively, having acknowledged the potential of data sharing to improve customer experience and increase financial inclusiveness.

A new analysis by Whitesight, a research firm focused on the global fintech space, looks at the state of open banking in the GCC, delving into the region’s frontrunners and how they’ve approached the trend.

According to the report, three jurisdictions, namely Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), have emerged as open banking leaders in the GCC, recognized for their efforts in setting up the foundation for open banking to thrive.

Bahrain, an early adopter of open banking in the region, embarked on its open banking journey in 2017 by drafting new rules covering the space. Open banking regulation was subsequently issued in late 2018.

This was followed the years after by a slew of initiatives that included the launch of the Bahrain Open Banking Framework by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) in 2020, the introduction of electronic know-your-customer (eKYC) in 2021, and the granting of the country’s first license for open banking that same year.

These initiatives set the stage

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