DIFC launches the region’s first Open Finance Lab

  • The launch of the region’s first Open Finance Lab is in line with DIFC’s 2030 Strategy and follows the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) and DIFC to promote the development and the growth of the fintech sector in the United Arab Emirates
  • Open Finance Lab will educate and engage banks, regulators and industry to showcase and shape the positive impact of Open Finance on the economy
  • Reaffirms the UAE’s commitment to being a financial services capital of the world and its position as a hub for financial technology and innovation in the region

Dubai UAE: Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), the leading global financial center in the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA) region, today launched the region’s first Open Finance Lab, heralding a new era finance in the region.

The Open Finance Lab initiative is a six-month program starting June 28, 2022.

A total of 4 banks and one FinTech company are expected to participate in the program, including Commercial Bank of Dubai, First Abu Dhabi Bank, Mashreq Bank, National Bank of Ras Al-Khaimah and Zand. Use cases will be explored and developed from July to November 2022, and the lab will conclude with a demonstration of the impact achieved with government officials and bank executives.

The launch of the region’s first Open Finance Lab follows the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE) and the authority DIFC to promote the development and growth of the fintech sector of the United Arab Emirates. The initiative supports DIFC’s continued efforts to achieve the goals of its 2030 strategy by unlocking strategic opportunities for the UAE and strengthening DIFC’s leading position as a global financial services hub.

With the UAE’s overall vision to become a global benchmark in open finance, the lab will work – in collaboration – with banks, FinTechs, regulators and industry. It has the potential to unlock the next wave of growth for the sector and increase consumer protection, financial inclusion, social benefits and economic opportunity.

In addition, the lab will host in-depth business and technical workshops, facilitate industry and regulatory forums on important issues. These include API standards and consumer consent management, as well as educational sessions to promote a better understanding of how Open Finance data will create more opportunity through the application of emerging technologies; resulting in new data-driven innovations and business models that will improve the future of the financial system. Ideas and lessons learned from use cases and forums will contribute to industry and regulatory development.

Additionally, the DIFC Innovation Center will host an Open Finance Week in September 2022, creating new opportunities for the industry to engage and share respective expertise and learnings.

Commenting on the initiative, Arif Amiri, CEO of DIFC Authority, said, “The launch of the region’s first Open Finance Lab reaffirms DIFC’s commitment to driving the future of finance and provides a framework to move the country towards an open finance economy. The evolution of data-driven business models that make finance more inclusive, accessible and competitive can generate significant new opportunities and open the door to a wave of financial innovation in our region and across the world.

Powered by Tarabut Gateway, the first UAE-based platform fully licensed by the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) for open finance activities, the initiative will serve as a test bed to show the positive impact of open finance on business, customers and the economy, and can help inform policymaking and infrastructure with empirical evidence and industry feedback. Attendees will receive free guidance from trusted technical vendors to support use case implementations.

Abdulla Almoayed, CEO of Tarabut Gateway said, “We are honored to have been selected by the DIFC as a platform partner for the region’s first Open Finance Lab. The support we have received from financial regulators in the UAE is a testament to the UAE’s drive to build the future of finance and establish its presence as a leading global FinTech hub. We are committed to contributing to the country’s vision and look forward to collaborating across the ecosystem to further advance the Open Finance movement.

Open Finance provides a platform for financial service providers, with consumer consent, to come together and deliver data using application programming interfaces (APIs) for pooling and data sharing as part of a collaborative ecosystem. It is based on the principle that financial data created and provided by an individual on financial services, such as mortgages, savings, insurance or consumer credit, with their consent, can be shared with third parties. of trust to enable personalized products, services and customers. experiences as well as unlock operational efficiency and enhanced security.[1]

In November 2021, the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates (CBUAE), the Dubai Financial Services Authority (DFSA) of the Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC), the Financial Services Regulatory Authority (FSRA) of the Abu Dhabi Global Market (ADGM), and the Securities and Commodities Authority (SCA) has jointly issued “Guidelines for Financial Institutions Adopting Enabling Technologies”. The guidelines set out cross-industry principles and best practices for financial institutions when adopting enabling technologies for the development or delivery of innovative products and services, in order to promote the safe and sound adoption of such technologies by institutions. across the UAE, so that risks resulting from the adoption of innovative activities are proactively and appropriately managed.[2]


About Dubai International Financial Center

The Dubai International Financial Center (DIFC) is one of the most advanced financial centers in the world and the leading financial center for the Middle East, Africa and South Asia (MEASA), which comprises 72 countries with a population of around 3 billion and an estimated GDP. of $7.7 trillion.

With 18 years’ experience in facilitating trade and investment flows in the MEASA region, the Center connects these fast-growing markets to economies in Asia, Europe and the Americas via Dubai.

The DIFC is home to an internationally recognized independent regulator and proven judicial system with an English common law framework, as well as the largest financial ecosystem in the region with nearly 30,000 professionals working in over 3,600 active registered companies – constituting the largest and most diversified pool. of industry talent in the region.

The Centre’s vision is to drive the future of finance through cutting-edge technology, innovation and partnerships. Today, it is the future global finance and innovation hub offering one of the most comprehensive FinTech and venture capital environments in the region, including cost-effective licensing solutions, responsive regulation, innovative acceleration programs and start-up funding for the growth phase. -UPS.

Comprising a variety of world-renowned retail and dining venues, a vibrant arts and culture scene, residential apartments, hotels and public spaces, DIFC continues to be one of the top business and style destinations Dubai’s most sought-after lifestyles.

For more information, please visit our website: difc.ae, or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter @DIFC.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Omar Nastro
Racha Mezher
Dubai International Financial Center Authority
Consultant – Marketing & Corporate Communication

[1] https://bankingblog.accenture.com/open-banking-in-the-middle-east-time-is-of-the-essence
[2] https://www.dfsa.ae/news/uae-regulatory-authorities-jointly-issue-guidelines-financial-institutions-adopting-enabling-technologies

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