Spire Technologies develops open banking solution in Bahrain

Spire will be based in Bahrain but intends to serve the larger Middle East market

Image used for illustrative purpose.

Image used for illustrative purpose.

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MANAMA: An open-banking platform has successfully tested a new software interface in Bahrain’s regulatory sandbox in a bid to boost the region’s financial ecosystem.

Spire Technologies, a subsidiary of Aion Digital – a Bahraini firm that helps build digital banks – said its platform aims to make financial data sharing and payments simple, secure and efficient.

Spire will be based in Bahrain but intends to serve the larger Middle East market.

The company has partnered with Canadian fintech solutions firm Salt Edge as well as other banking leaders such as KFH Bahrain to develop the solution which would help regional banks develop and launch their own open banking enabled products and services for enhanced customer engagement and experience.

The platform covers all three verticals in the open banking domain, including compliance, application programming interface (API) gateway and use cases, which involves secure real time data access via financial APIs.

Some of the benefits of open banking for end-users include budgeting support, view of all banks on one-page, personalised products, and quick, easy and transparent payments.

Ashar Nazim, managing director of Spire Technologies, said the aim is to bring globally-acclaimed open banking technologies and know-how like Salt Edge to Bahrain and strengthen the country’s leadership position in the financial services industry.

Salt Edge is connected to more than 5,000 banks and data providers across 68 countries.

“Spire is also geared up to create jobs and career opportunities in the fintech space,” added Mr Nazim.

The $11 billion global open banking market, which is set to reach a value of more than $52bn by 2027, is shaking up the banking sector.

Recognising the need for digital transformation of financial services in recent years, the Central Bank of Bahrain introduced a dedicated fintech and innovation unit tasked with setting up a conducive fintech ecosystem focusing on a strong regulatory framework.

A key role in the intiative was played by the national investment promotion agency, the Economic Development Board (EDB).

Dalal Buhejji, executive director for investment origination at EDB, said: “The EDB congratulates Spire on its promising progress. Thanks to our forward-thinking regulator, Bahrain was the first in the region to bring in mandatory open banking and drive the creation of a strong open banking ecosystem with regional reach. In addition to other advantages, like the region’s best-value operating costs, the country is delivering a competitive, innovative financial services sector and Spire and Aion Digital are just some of the companies benefiting from this vision and the collaborations fostered by Team Bahrain across the ecosystem.”

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