Financial API platform Salt Edge has expanded into the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, after the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) issued its Open Banking Framework earlier this month.
Salt Edge plans to rollout a set of Open Banking solutions in the Saudi market, which will help financial institutions give consumers the confidence to share their transactional data and initiate payments via fintechs.
SAMA has mandated banks to make their account information APIs available by the end of 2022 and their payment initiation APIs by March 2023.
Salt Edge, which offers an Open Banking compliance solution, has developed sandboxes for KSA banks to demonstrate how they can become compliant in three months.
It has also onboarded onto SAMA’s Open Banking Lab and is in the process of applying to SAMA’s regulatory sandbox for several use cases.
Alina Beleuta, chief growth officer at Salt Edge, said: “We expect the Saudi Arabia market to embrace Open Banking at a higher pace than other regions. All the needed factors are here: a thoughtful and innovative regulator, a mandate for banks to develop their APIs based on a unique standard, and an increased demand from the market.
“Fintech apps, corporates, SMEs, merchants, lenders, and all kinds of financial service providers have been showing great interest to implement Open Banking-powered solutions.”
She added that the key to Open Banking’s success in Saudi Arabia, is to educate every stakeholder about its benefits and help them build as many viable business use cases as possible.
Saudi Arabia’s Open Banking Framework is one of the key outputs of the Open Banking Program, an initiative of the Fintech Strategy which, in turn, is one of the pillars of the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) under Saudi Vision 2030.
Salt Edge said it has already established several partnerships in the region, including with Finastra, Temenos, Mambu, Spire, Thought Machine, Tuum and ebankIT.
“Our message to the local banks and financial players is for them to do what they do best, develop services and products to match their consumers’ expectations backed with a profitable business model, and trust Salt Edge with Open Banking compliance and connectivity,” said Beleuta.