The Central Bank of Bahrain has announced its first two entrants into its fintech regulatory sandbox scheme.
Tramonex, a London-based forex cash management solution for businesses; and Now Money, the Dubai-based account and remittance service for low-income workers in the GCC have both been added to Bahrain’s burgeoning financial services centre.
Launched in June, the Bahrain regulatory sandbox provides a virtual space for companies to test their financial technology based solutions, and is open to existing Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) licensees and other local and foreign firms, as the country seeks to position itself as a fintech and financial services hub.
Affordable financial services
Now Money claims to be the first fintech company in the Gulf region to use mobile banking technology to provide accounts, financial inclusion and a range of low-cost remittance options to low-income workers. It aims to provide access to affordable financial services for everyone.
Khalid Hamad, executive director of banking supervision at the CBB, said: “We are pleased to welcome the first two entrants into the regulatory sandbox, in the early stages of the framework’s launch. This initiative highlights the CBB’s continuous efforts as the kingdom’s single regulator to update and develop the fintech ecosystem and enable industry players to create innovative and forward-looking fintech products while maintaining the overall safety and soundness of the financial system.”
Venture capital fund-of-funds
HE Khalid Al Rumaihi, chief executive of Bahrain Economic Development Board said that Bahrain has a number of further initiatives that it expects to be launched in the coming months including a venture capital fund-of-funds.
“We are seeing real signs of momentum in the sector, and are excited by the potential it will bring,” he said.
The Bahrain EDB is a public agency with an overall responsibility for attracting investment into Bahrain, with financial services sector and growth of the banking industry, and such key sub-sectors as including Islamic finance, asset management, insurance and re-insurance, among its areas of focus.