Dubai bank Emirates NBD launches API sandbox for fintechs

The platform consists of over 200 APIs and 900 end points covering retail, corporate and SMEs

Dubai bank Emirates NBD has launched its API (Application Programming Interface) sandbox, to enable open banking collaboration with fintech firms.

The first lender in the UAE to launch such a platform, Emirates NBD said the move was part of its Dhs1bn investment in digital transformation.

The platform consists of over 200 APIs and 900 end points covering retail, corporate and SMEs.

Developers also have access to over three million simulated customer transactions based on the BIAN (Banking Industry Architecture Network) model.

Emirates NBD’s API sandbox, powered by Virtusa, follows open banking standards to ensure security and privacy for its users, a statement said.

So far, four fintech firms have been on boarded on the sandbox to create proof of concepts on the bank’s platform.

Evans Munyuki, chief digital officer at Emirates NBD, said, “We will now provide a lucrative opportunity and offer the right tools for enterprising fintechs and developers to turn their creative ideas into real working prototypes which we then test with real customers, as opposed to showcasing ideas only as multipage documents and slides.”

He also asserted that that bank has a “very strict registration process covering compliance and security while ensuring alignment with potential partners’ goals”.

Abdulla Qassem, group COO at Emirates NBD added: “The open banking sandbox environment will be a game-changer and will enable, simplify, and accelerate innovation for the bank’s employees, and partnerships with fintechs, start-ups, creative developers, academia and SMEs, ensuring faster speed-to-market on digital banking products and services.”

Dubai has set a goal of becoming a regional fintech hub through accelerator programmes, an experimental licence regime and a $100m fund.

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The emirate also aims to become a leader in bitcoin database technology blockchain through a commitment to use it for all government documents by 2020.

Read: Blockchain’s big ambitions