SAMA updates its regulatory sandbox framework to bolster fintech innovations

By Shilpa Annie Joseph, Desk Reporter
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The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has updated the Framework of its Regulatory Sandbox in order to strengthen financial technology (Fintech) innovations.

The step was taken as part of SAMA’s efforts to achieve several national strategic goals through the promotion of the Regulatory Sandbox’s involvement in the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP).

FSDP is a key objective of the Saudi Vision 2030 that aims to develop the Kingdom’s economy, diversify its sources of income, enable financial institutions to support the growth of the private sector, and allow new companies to provide their own array of financial services.

The Bank stated that the updated framework will also support the objectives of the fintech strategy by making the Kingdom one of the world’s leading countries in the field, and it will contribute to the economic empowerment of the Saudi society and its citizens by promoting further innovations in technology-based financial services.

“Operating within a holistic framework, the strategy will support a broad range of FinTech activities through several initiatives serving as catalysts for change, the most notable of these initiatives is having its framework updated; as it will allow FinTech companies to submit Regulatory Sandbox applications as of the 6th of September 2022,” as per the statement.

SAMA launched the Regulatory Sandbox initiative back in 2018 to garner the participation of local, regional, and international fintech institutions and companies seeking to take advantage of current and new technologies to provide innovative financial products and services to Saudi markets.

The Central Bank further pointed out that “the updated framework of the Regulatory Sandbox is open for both local and international applicants to apply be they entrepreneurs, non-regulated companies or existing regulated entities, the key differentiator of the updated framework is to move from a cohort-based approach to an Always Open approach which will give greater flexibility to those applying.”

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