Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the leading global financial centre in the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) region has launched the region’s first Open Finance Lab, indicating a new era of finance in the area. The launch is in line with DIFC’s Strategy 2030. It follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE) and DIFC to promote the growth and development of the UAE financial technology sector.
The open Finance Lab will educate and engage banks, regulators, and the industry to showcase and shape the positive impact of Open Finance on the economy. UAE’s commitment reaffirms emerging as a global capital for financial services and solidifying its position as a leading hub for financial technology and innovation in the region.
The open finance lab project is a six-month programme that will embark on 28th June 2022. The open finance lab will involve four banks and a fintech company. They include the Commercial Bank of Dubai (CBD), Mashreq Bank, First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah, and Zand.
Reaffirming its spot as a top global FinTech hub
With the overarching vision of the UAE to become a global scale in open finance, the lab will work in collaboration with banks, FinTech regulators, and the industry itself. As a result, it has the potential to increase consumer protection, financial inclusion, social benefits, and economic opportunities to unlock the next wave of growth for the sector.
Open finance provides a platform for financial services providers, with the consent of consumers, to gather and provide data using Application Programming Interfaces (APIs) for pooling and sharing data as part of a collaborative ecosystem. It is based on the principle that financial data created and supplied by an individual on financial services, such as savings, mortgages, insurance, or consumer credit, upon their consensus, can be shared with trusted third parties to allow customized products, services, and customer experiences as well as unlock operational effectiveness and higher security.
Additionally, the lab will run business operations, technical deep-dive workshops, and facilitate industry & regulatory forums on important issues. These include API standards, consumer consent management, and educational gatherings to promote a greater understanding of how the Open Finance data will generate more opportunities through emerging technologies. It will thus result in new data-driven innovations and business representations that will enhance the future of the financial system.
Furthermore, in September 2022, the DIFC Innovation Hub will host an Open Finance Week, creating further opportunities for the industry to engage and share their expertise and respective learnings.
The Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), the Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC), the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA), the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA), Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), and the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) in November 2021 jointly issued guidelines for Financial Institutions adopting empowering technologies.
Dubai International Financial Centre (DIFC) is one of the leading financial hubs for the Middle East, Africa, and South Asia (MEASA) and one of the world’s most innovative financial centres, with an estimated GDP of USD 7.7 trillion, which comprises of 72 countries with an approximate population of 3 billion.
An 18-year track record of enabling trade and investment flows across the MEASA region through Dubai connects these fast-growing markets with the economies of Asia, Europe, and the Americas.
DIFC is home to a world-renowned, independent regulator and a proven judicial system with an English common law framework. As a result, the region has the most efficient financial ecosystem of almost 30,000 professionals working across over 3,600 registered companies, making up the region’s central and most diverse pool of industry talent.
DIFC continues to be one of Dubai’s most sought-after business and lifestyle destinations, including a variety of world-renowned retail and dining venues, a dynamic art and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels, and public spaces.