MANAMA: A new and improved Regulatory Sandbox Framework has been announced by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) which will allow fintech firms to test their ideas in a more efficient and effective environment.

Significantly, the new framework enhances the eligibility criteria for participation in the sandbox and also streamlines the entire process to ensure a more phased and consistent approach to support testing.

The Regulatory Sandbox, which is open to existing CBB licensees and other local and foreign firms was first introduced in 2017 in an effort to enhance the local fintech ecosystem and is being overseen by the CBB’s FinTech & Innovation Unit.

The sandbox has gained significant interest from local, regional and global start-ups and a number of companies have successfully completed testing their solutions.

Commenting, Yasmeen Al Sharaf, director of fintech and innovation unit at the CBB, said: “The revised Regulatory Sandbox Framework serves as a continuation of the CBB’s efforts to keep pace with technological developments and to ensure an appropriate ecosystem to adopt modern banking services through fintech solutions, with the ultimate objective of promoting a culture of innovation in the financial sector and national economy.

The new framework will facilitate participation and enhance collaborations between startups and fintechs and the sector, in order to provide better financial services in the kingdom.”

The Regulatory Sandbox Register on the CBB website shows 23 participants as of yesterday.

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