The central banks of Saudi Arabia and Singapore have entered into a cooperation agreement to jointly work on the development of their respective fintech sectors, both of which feature a substantial Islamic fintech landscape.
Signed by Ayman Al-Sayari, the governor of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), and Dr Vivian Balakrishnan, the Singaporean minister of foreign affairs on behalf of the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS), the agreement aims to strengthen collaboration and foster the mutual development of the two organizations, said a statement.
“[The agreement] seeks to facilitate activities in the international markets while respecting the rights and obligation of both parties, provide a robust framework for cooperation between the innovation departments of both organizations, establish effective mechanisms for sharing information regarding fintech and innovation, promote their utilization in the markets and enhance cooperation and foster coordinated efforts in areas of mutual interest,” the Saudi apex bank said.
The Saudi Islamic fintech sector consists of 40 companies, according to the IFN Fintech Landscape, with 16 companies permitted by SAMA to operate within its regulatory sandbox (all offering Shariah compliant products and services).
Singapore meanwhile is home to 10 Islamic fintech companies, including crowdfunding platforms Ethis and Kapital Boost.
In 2018, MAS signed similar fintech sector development agreements with the UAE’s Dubai Financial Services Authority, and Kazakhstan’s Astana Financial Services Authority and Astana International Financial Centre Authority, which focus on finding joint opportunities for fintech innovation in their respective jurisdictions.