Fintech innovation vital for finanial sector development: SAMA Governor

By Rahul Vaimal, Associate Editor
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Saudi Central Bank
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The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) Governor H.E. Dr. Ahmed Alkholeify said that the central bank wants to see more competition and development in new areas such as financial technology (fintech), as well as the traditional industries of the capital market, including banks.

The central bank governor said during the inaugural event of ‘Fintech Tour 2020’ that the Central Bank took a crucial step towards enabling the experimental environment of the Sandbox, which paved way for the development of 32 fintech firms.

“We are hoping that there will be growth in fintech innovation both from fintech companies as well as the traditional institutions in the financial sector,” said Dr. Alkholifey.

He further added that SAMA has released several Fintech-related regulations and systems as part of its efforts to foster the sector and achieve the objectives of the Financial Sector Development Program.

In the meantime, Mohammed El-Kuwaiz, Chairman of the Capital Market Authority (CMA), stressed the value of innovation in capital market solutions linked to fintech, adding that fintech helps the capital market to capitalize and enter more categories of firms and investors that have not previously had access to the capital market.

“This technology has successfully delivered services to the largest possible number of people. We are excited about what fintech can provide for the capital market in terms of broadening its base of participants and beneficiaries,” he added.

Mr. El-Kuwaiz pointed out that Fintech solutions are innovative by default and therefore require individual regulatory frameworks.

The chairman further added that the CMA continues to inspire and empower entrepreneurs, with three rounds of licensing of fintech firms completed, which results in the licensing of 15 firms in different domains.