Kuwait Finance House-Bahrain (KFH-Bahrain) has become the latest Islamic bank in the Kingdom to go live with its open banking infrastructure as part of the country’s digital ambition and the bank’s ongoing fintech strategy.
Just as competitors Ithmaar Bank, Al Baraka Bank and Bahrain Islamic Bank expressed their readiness to embrace open banking last month, KFH-Bahrain has revealed that it has partnered with Tarabut Gateway, Bahrain’s only licensed open banking payment initiation and account information service provider. Tarabut Gateway is a subsidiary of Almoayed Technologies, the first company to graduate from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB)’s regulatory sandbox.
“Open banking will allow our customers to enjoy a wide range of innovative digital solutions and services, including enabling a consolidated view of all their bank accounts through a single platform, which will allow for greater collaboration and integration amongst banks, financial institutions and payment service providers in the Kingdom of Bahrain,” shared Khalid Rafea, the executive manager and head of KFH-Bahrain’s retail banking group.
As previously reported, the preparation for open banking is part of a long-term fintech and innovation vision of the CBB, which introduced a regulation last November calling upon the 114 banks in the Kingdom, 21 of which are Islamic, to adopt open banking by the 30th June 2019.
“Open banking, in combination with the recently announced Personal Data Protection Laws in Bahrain will allow bank accountholders to consent to sharing details of their accounts and payments history, to licensed third party providers in order to leverage new technologies like data analytics and artificial learning to make more aware financial decisions. In addition to that, customers will soon be able to link their accounts to independent licensed applications offering a large range of services and solutions,” explained Mohammed Fahmi Hamad, KFH-Bahrain’s executive manager and head of information technology.