Al Etihad Payments launches Open Finance in the UAE

Ellie Duncan
24 Apr 2024

Al Etihad Payments (AEP), a subsidiary of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), has formed a partnership with AI enablement solutions provider Core42 to implement Open Finance in the United Arab Emirates.

AEP has also engaged with Ozone API and Raidiam as technology providers within the consortium led by Core42 for the implementation.

Open Finance in the UAE will be phased in, starting with Open Banking, followed by Open Insurance, with a view to providing access to “the majority of customers” in 2024.

According to Al Etihad Payments, the UAE is the first country globally to implement a consolidated trust framework and centralised API hub, which will “enable a single secure connection to access the whole of the banking and insurance markets”, while ensuring that access is only granted, with customer consent, to third parties regulated by the CBUAE.

The launch of Open Finance, which is one of nine initiatives within the CBUAE’s Financial Infrastructure Transformation (FIT) Programme, is expected to provide new opportunities in the financial services sector, including enhancing digital financial inclusion.

Fatma Al Jabri, Assistant Governor for Financial Crime, Market Conduct and Consumer Protection at the CBUAE, said: “The implementation of Open Finance marks a significant advancement in the UAE’s financial services industry and its financial infrastructure transformation.

“It will accelerate the adoption of digital financial services, providing more innovative and safer digital financial products and services in the country.

“In addition, it will provide a seamless financial experience, ensuring consumers have control over their finances and efficient access to a diverse range of financial products.”

All participants in the UAE’s Open Finance ecosystem will come under the CBUAE licensing and supervision regulations.

The signing of the partnership agreement between Al Eithad Payments and Core42 was attended by CBUAE Governor Khaled Mohamed Balama, while Al Jabri and Kiril Evtimov, chief executive officer of Core42, signed the agreement.

The central bank unveiled its FIT Programme in February 2023, and expects it to be fully integrated by 2026.