MENA startups seal deals to widen their reach

MENA startups seal deals to widen their reach

CAIRO: Dubai-based fintech company Tarabut Gateway is strengthening its presence in Saudi Arabia with partnerships and operations to support open banking.

The Kingdom’s fintech sector is about to see a major opportunity, with open banking launching in the first quarter of 2023.

Open banking enables third-party developers to connect applications and services to financial institutions by creating data transparency.

The company was the leading business-to-business regional infrastructure provider for open banking with operations in the UAE, Bahrain and the Kingdom.

In an exclusive interview with Arab News, Abdulla Al-Moayed, CEO and founder of Tarabut Gateway, said that the company has already established several partnerships with fintech companies and banks in the Kingdom with plans to open its local headquarters by March 2023 establish.

“We will build an entire country-specific business in Saudi Arabia that caters to that specific market. We are absolutely thrilled with the size of the market and the opportunity it presents for which we will set up operations to be able to entertain that market,” said Al-Moayed.

From Al-Moayed’s point of view, open banking is about the customer, as it allows individuals to have complete control over their financial data by granting or revoking access to that data.

“In the case of Saudi Arabia, we are doing everything from supporting the banks to prepare themselves for this new phenomenon of open banking by helping banks build the necessary infrastructure to entertain these new licensed third parties and interact with them,” he added.

Al-Moayed further explained that the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, has provided licensing to more than a dozen fintech companies, and more than 80 companies are registered in SAMA’s regulatory sandbox.

In line with Vision 2030, SAMA is keen to strengthen the financial technology sector by increasing the number of fintech companies in the Kingdom and providing the proper infrastructure for open banking.

SAMA also entered Tarabut Gateway into the sandbox at the beginning of the year, where it began testing its open banking platform with banks and fintech.

“Our focus is to support and ensure that open banking becomes a success at the national level. More importantly, we are committed to supporting Saudi Arabia to succeed in open banking. And that’s why we work the whole ecosystem, whether it’s the fintech, banks or the regulator,” explained Al-Moayed.

The company is already partnered with several major banks in the Kingdom, including Riyadh Bank, Saudi British Bank, Banque Saudi Fransi and Alinma Bank.

Al-Moayed announced that the company is working with several licensed fintech companies in the Kingdom, such as Malaa, Drahim and Tamam.

He also explained that the Kingdom will become an open banking blueprint for other countries to follow thanks to its well-managed operations to support fintech companies and banks.

The founder said that the Kingdom’s central bank has set the appropriate supervision and environment for start-ups to mature and move into production.

Tarabut Gateway has raised $25 million in investment and has already begun hiring a team for its local headquarters in the Kingdom.

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