Much of the Arab world is fast emerging as a global open-banking microcosm. European-style regulatory-driven approaches rub shoulders with American-style market-led approaches.
Still, the basic objective of open banking remains the same: stimulate innovation in the banking sector by putting data back in the hands of customers. Achieving that objective requires global hindsight and a flexible approach to specific regional needs.
"If banks are expected to be flexible to meet the demands of open banking, then the open-banking framework itself should also be flexible enough to stimulate innovation."
This report is co-authored by the MFTA (MENA Fintech Association) Open Banking Working Group (led by Hakan Eroglu of Mastercard) and the Arab Monetary Fund. It concludes with a five-step framework for open banking in the region:
Principles over prescriptions
Customer data rights
Standardization and neutral technology
Level playing field