The framework provides a virtual space for companies to test their technology-based innovative solutions, and is open to existing Central Bank of Bahrain licensees and other local and foreign firms. The testing duration is nine months, with a maximum extension of three months.
The regulatory sandbox allows startups and fintech firms to test and experiment their banking ideas and solutions. The creation of the regulatory sandbox provides an opportunity for fintech businesses around the world to expand and thrive in the Gulf and strengthens Bahrain’s position as a fintech and financial services hub in the GCC.
A Regulatory Sandbox is a safe laboratory space in which businesses can test their product / service with real (volunteer) customers without incurring the cost of obtaining the regulatory license. It is meant for products / services that cannot be offered without regulatory approval.
A Regulatory Sandbox is needed to fast-track the adoption of useful technologies for the benefit of the customers and the financial system in an efficient and cost effective manner. It helps the Regulator understand new technologies being offered. It also helps FinTech companies to test their solutions without first going through the licensing process which can be lengthy and costly.
Financial Technology (FinTech) is a rising trend globally and the Sandbox is a calculated way for the Regulator to cope with the pace of technological change. Bahrain has long been a regional financial hub; it is natural to position itself as the FinTech hub of the region, including Shari’ah compliant Fintech solutions. CBB is launching the Sandbox in order to promote effective competition, embrace cutting-edge technology, encourage financial inclusion and improve customer experience.
Central Bank of Bahrain
The key features include the following:
Virtual space for companies to test their technology based innovative solutions
Open for both existing CBB licensees (financial institutions with FinTech initiatives) and other firms (local + foreign). Local or foreign companies may include financial institutions, technology companies, telecom companies or others
Duration of the regulatory testing is 9 months (with max. 3 month extension)