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CBB enhances Fintech Regulatory Sandbox to boost innovation

December 8, 2021
banking

As part of its efforts to further develop the FinTech ecosystem and enhance the competitiveness of the financial services sector, and in line with the Kingdom’s overall strategy to transition towards a diverse and digital economy, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has announced its new Regulatory Sandbox Framework which will allow FinTech firms to test and experiment their ideas and solutions related to the sector in a more efficient and effective environment.

Significantly, the new Framework enhances the eligibility criteria for participation in the Regulatory Sandbox, as well as streamlines the entire Sandbox process to ensure a more phased and consistent approach to support testing.

The Regulatory Sandbox, which is open to existing CBB licensees and other local and foreign firms was first introduced in 2017 in an effort to enhance the local FinTech ecosystem and is being overseen by the CBB’s FinTech & Innovation Unit. The Sandbox has gained significant interest from local, regional and global start-ups and a number of companies have successfully completed testing their solutions.

In this regard, Ms. Yasmeen Al Sharaf, Director of Fintech and Innovation Unit at CBB, commented: “The revised Regulatory Sandbox Framework serves as a continuation of the CBB’s efforts to keep pace with technological developments and to ensure an appropriate ecosystem to adopt modern banking services through fintech solutions, with the ultimate objective of promoting a culture of innovation in the financial sector and national economy. The new framework will facilitate participation and enhance collaborations between startups and fintechs and the sector, in order to provide better financial services in the Kingdom.”

The new Regulatory Sandbox Framework, which includes the eligibility criteria, filing requirements and the new process, is now available on CBB’s website through the following link: https://www.cbb.gov.bh/fintech/

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