Spire Technologies has obtained Account Information Service Provider (AISP) and Payment Initiation Service Provider (PISP) licenses from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), authorising it to operate as a fully regulated open banking ancillary service provider in the Kingdom. This milestone approval from the CBB will effectively enable Spire Technologies to expand its offerings, delivering expert financial insights and swift digital solutions to the market with increased operational efficiency, which include the provision of open banking use cases to retail customers and Micro Small and Medium Enterprises (MSME) in addition to open banking enabled services to banks and fintechs.
A graduate from the CBB’s regulatory sandbox, the Bahrain-based open banking fintech is keen to contribute to the growth of the digitally-led national financial ecosystem and expand into the region and is set to launch its open banking solutions to MSMEs across Bahrain. The solutions aims to provide its users with full agency over business cashflows, offering a rich user experience as well as faster, secure account-to-account payments at a competitive cost.
Dalal Buhejji, Executive Director of Financial Services at Bahrain EDB, said: “As of 2022, the financial services sector is the largest contributor to our GDP standing at 17.5%, which forms a major driver to the sustainable economic growth and diversification of the national economy, thereby boosting Bahrain’s international competitiveness on a global playing field. We take pride in witnessing the expansion journey of Spire Technologies, which reiterates Bahrain’s track record of success in giving rise to one success story after another owing to a pioneering pro-innovation regulatory framework and the unwavering support of Team Bahrain operating as a dynamic, collaborative collective, working in step with the private sector.”
Aamir Janjua, Co-founder and Chief Product Officer at Spire Technologies, added, “Open banking has enabled the next generation of fintechs to introduce innovative, personalised, competitive and inclusive financial services to the fintech landscape. We are gratified at how far we’ve come and to be licensed as an ancillary service provider, enabling us to deliver innovative data and payments driven open banking solutions in Bahrain as part of a growing fintech ecosystem. We are thankful to the CBB for their continuous drive to build a robust open banking ecosystem, and to the Bahrain Economic Development Board for their exceptional support throughout our journey.”
With an agile, future-forward regulatory framework, a dependable digital infrastructure, and a recognised history of innovation in the financial services sector which comprises a growing fintech ecosystem, Bahrain is home to a balanced portfolio of leading banks, fintech firms, and financial players cementing its reputation as the ideal destination for businesses to set up and tap into a high growth region. Celebrating over 100 years of banking, Bahrain’s well established financial services sector has secured many firsts for the Middle East and North Africa region driving unmatched regulatory reform, paving the way for emerging industries including robo-advice and crypto-asset platforms.
The CBB has been quick to embrace open banking, providing banks with a sound and ever-evolving regulatory framework to meet the demand for digital payment and credit services, launching pioneering initiatives in the likes of the regulatory sandbox, a virtual space for both CBB-licensed financial institutions and fintech startups to test pilot innovative solutions to effectively scale up their operations from Bahrain and across the region in a safe, regulated space.