National Bank of Bahrain launches open banking services, a first for MENA region

National Bank of Bahrain (NBB) has become the first bank in the MENA region to launch open banking services for its customers.

Its new open banking tools will let account holders share their account information and payment history with third-parties and other banks. This lets enables then to link multiple differing bank accounts and view their financial assets and obligations in a single mobile app. They will also be capable of linking accounts with verified, independent apps which will offer newer and broader services.

To launch this service, the bank teamed up with open banking infrastructure builder Tarabut Gateway. Through Tarabut, NBB customers will be able to connect their various bank accounts but monitor them all through the NBB online and mobile banking apps.

Tarabut Gateway CEO Abdulla Almoayed said, “By offering a common platform to all banks in Bahrain, Tarabut Gateway enables banks to comply with open banking regulation, deliver payment and information services to customers quickly and efficiently, and provide secure and frictionless access to banks for third-party providers,”

“Our partnership with NBB aligns with the Kingdom of Bahrain’s strategy to become the leading destination for FinTechs in the region. NBB’s infrastructure will enable it to set new standards for digital banking services and deliver immediate value to its customers. Banks in other markets, like the UK, have taken years to reach this point. NBB has achieved it in less than six months.”

Late last year, the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) released a regulation which ordered banks in the country to begin adopting open banking by 30th June 2019.

Since this announcement, there have been a number of Bahrain-based banks looking to form partnerships with open banking enablers. Token has been very active in this period, partnering with Almoayed Technologies to help banks in the region get access to open banking tools.

Last month, Token even signed a deal with Khaleeji Commercial Bank (KHCB) to supply it with the necessary tools to meet compliance.

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