Strong interest: Innovative payment solutions submitted by local and international start-ups currently being assessed for compliance with regulation, security and customer safety
Oman’s nascent efforts to open up the banking and financial services sector to fintech solutions providers have garnered a heartening response, according to the Central Bank of Oman (CBO).
Fintech, which refers to the combination of technology and innovation to offer financial services digitally to consumers, is growing exponentially across the world with a current market value estimated at $300 billion. Phase 1 of the initiative has been well-received, CBO’s Executive President, Tahir Salim al Amri, said.
“The Fintech Regulatory Sandbox launched in December 2020 received an overwhelming response, with several local and international participants coming forward to present their payment solutions during the first cohort,” Al Amri said.
“Even as their fintech applcaitons are being assessed across the different stages of the sandbox, we are faced with certain challenges, such as the lack of compliance awareness of fintech start-ups in ensuring their secured access to the payment system infrastructure. However, we are committed to overcome and foster the growth of an effective ecosystem wherein the fintech start-ups and banks work in a collaborative framework for the benefit of all stakeholders,” the Executive President stated.
Speaking at the New Age Banking Summit held in the city last week, Al Amri said the apex bank, while working to complete the assessment process expeditiously, was also keen to ensure that the approved participants “start and success and not start and fail”.
The sandbox will enable the CBO to introduce agile regulatory frameworks and other strategic initiatives to foster innovation in the Omani financial sector while maintaining financial stability and ensuring high standards for consumer protection.
“Going forward, we would like to engage with a larger number of participants and seek their innovative ideas and solutions,” he further added.