Saudi Capital Market Authority to Reach $43bn by 2026

The Saudi Capital Market Authority (CMA) has projected an impressive growth trajectory for the open banking market, which is expected to reach a staggering $43 billion by 2026. This projection underscores the transformative potential of open banking in revolutionizing the financial services landscape in Saudi Arabia.

The Role of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)

Accordingly, the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has been instrumental in fostering this growth, launching the Open Banking Program as part of its Fintech Strategy under the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP), a key component of Saudi Vision 2030. SAMA’s commitment to supporting the Kingdom’s economic growth and ensuring financial stability is evident in its efforts to establish a comprehensive Open Banking Framework and the Open Banking Lab​​.

Open Banking Framework: A Regulatory Milestone

The Open Banking Framework is a pivotal regulatory development, consisting of a comprehensive set of legislation, regulatory guidelines, and technical standards. It includes key elements such as a glossary of terms, business rules, and Saudi-specific standards. This ensures clarity and uniformity in the application of open banking principles​​.

The Innovative Open Banking Lab

To facilitate development and compliance with the Open Banking Framework, SAMA has established the Open Banking Lab. This technical testing environment allows banks and fintechs to develop, test, and certify their open banking services, ensuring alignment with the regulatory framework. The lab is equipped with a sandbox environment, ready use cases, and testing and certification tools. This further accelerates the development of open banking services in KSA

Transforming the Payments Landscape

Moreover, open banking sets to significantly transform the payments landscape in Saudi. By allowing third-party access to bank systems and customer data, open banking lowers barriers for fintech startups and competition. This transformation requires incumbent banks to rethink their business models and shift from traditional models to co-creation platforms. The shift to open banking aligns with Saudi’s goal of becoming a global fintech hub, as part of its broader Saudi Vision 2030.

Global Context and Saudi Progress

While open banking is a global movement, countries have adopted varying approaches to its implementation. For example, Bahrain, the European Union and Hong Kong have taken a prescriptive approach, mandating open banking. On the other hand, countries like Singapore and the U.S. have adopted a facilitative approach. Saudi’s approach, under the guidance of SAMA, combines regulatory frameworks with innovation-enabling environments.

A Bright Future Ahead

Furthermore, the Saudi Capital Market Authority’s projection of the open banking market reaching $43 billion by 2026 reflects the immense potential of this sector. With SAMA’s robust framework and initiatives, Saudi is well-positioned to capitalize on the benefits of open banking, transforming its financial services sector and enhancing economic empowerment for individuals. As Saudi continues to adapt to the evolving global financial landscape, the future of open banking in KSA looks exceptionally bright.



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