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Telecommunication companies evolve services through open banking

December 28, 2021

Bahrain’s rollout of forward-thinking financial services regulations has allowed the country to maintain a pioneering position within the sector and pave the way for telecommunication companies to enter into FinTech. Dubbed ‘TechFins’, these companies are introducing a range of modern financial service solutions, demonstrating the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB’s) sophisticated approach towards adapting global trends which underpin the continuing transformation of the Kingdom’s financial services sector.

Bahrain’s major telcos, Batelco, STC, and Zain are creating new financial services platforms for their clients, with Zain most recently announcing a partnership with Tarabut Gateway offering their customers a mobile payment service utilising open banking – the first of its kind in the region.

“This initiative by Zain and Tarabut Gateway will eliminate many obstacles customers face while also reducing transaction costs” said Executive Director of Business Planning and Analytics at Zain Bahrain Mohammed Al-Alawi.

“The project will open the door for us to produce a new and diverse range of financial services, and a more customer centric approach. Additionally, transaction fees will be low compared to cards and payment gateways. In the coming months, we will also introduce the ability to make interbank payments through a mobile application” He added.

“We look forward to the new partnership with Zain and welcome interested parties who wish to work with us. As the largest open banking services platform in the MENA region, we believe that partnerships between telecommunications and FinTech companies will be highly beneficial to the growth of the industry. These collaborations are made possible through Bahrain’s supportive regulations, which are on par with global leaders in the TechFin space,” Founder and CEO of Tarabut Gateway Abdulla Almoayed said.

Batelco entered the world of fintech by establishing a new financial services company, Batelco Financial Services, following the awarding of licenses by the Central Bank of Bahrain, making it the first telecom company in the GCC to receive licenses for Open Banking.

Commenting on the introduction of BEYON Money, Batelco’s Chief Digital Growth Officer Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa Al Khalifa said: “We are delighted to reveal our new financial services brand, BEYON Money. The launch comes in line with Batelco’s strategy to enter the world of financial services and expand its portfolio beyond its core services and offerings, to keep up with global trends and technological innovation. The new company aims to provide individuals and small-to-medium enterprises with digital solutions, which will further enhance the efficiency and diversity of the Kingdom’s Financial Sector.”

“BEYON Money is the first digital financial super App in the region, providing direct open banking access to consumers in Bahrain, connecting all the banks across the Kingdom in one App. The app will enable Batelco to deliver a full-fledged, seamless experience that is designed based on customer needs by combining multiple financial services under its platform.”

STC Bahrain has also introduced several digital solutions further supporting their customer whilst enhancing their experience in using their remote services effortlessly.

“We have been at the forefront of driving forward Bahrain’s digital transformation in line with the Kingdom of Bahrain’s economic vision. The company has significantly invested in new infrastructure to pave the way for future connectivity services and cutting-edge technologies, this includes mobile payment solutions (stc pay), Insuretech services, in addition to cybersecurity, cloud computing services, stc Tajer platform, and more,” Chief Commercial Officer Karim Tabbouche said.