The Central Bank of Bahrain has announced the first two entrants to its regulatory sandbox allowing fintech firms to test their concepts.
The organisation said London-based forex cash management firm Tramonex and Dubai-based remittance service for low-income workers NOW Money would begin operating under the system, which was announced in June.
Similar regulatory incubator projects have been established in other markets from Asia to South America allowing firms to test new business models without breaking financial rules.
“This initiative highlights the CBB’s continuous efforts as the Kingdom’s single regulator to update and develop the fintech ecosystem and enable industry players to create innovative and forward-looking fintech products while maintaining the overall safety and soundness of the financial system.”said Khalid Hamad, executive director of banking supervision at the central bank.
NOW Money told Gulf Business in an April interview that it was expanding into Bahrain as part of a broader push in the Gulf Cooperation Council.
Global investment in financial technology is estimated at $3.2bn with several Gulf cities vying to be the regional hub including Dubai and Abu Dhabi, which have their own similar regulation.
Dubai Financial Services Authority and the Securities and Futures Commission of Hong Kong also announced an agreement today to cooperate in financial technology and develop an innovation-friendly ecosystem.
Both sides will share information and refer firms to each other’s markets.