UAE: Al Etihad Payments Unveils Open Finance to Fortify Financial Sector

Al Etihad Payments (AEP), a subsidiary under the auspices of the Central Bank of the UAE (CBUAE), has forged a strategic alliance with Core42 to embark on the deployment of open finance across the nation.

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This move aligns with Open Finance as one of the key pillars within the CBUAE’s broader Financial Infrastructure Transformation (FIT) Program. Core42, a subsidiary of G42, is a comprehensive AI solution provider with expertise.

In its quest for open finance realization, AEP has enlisted the services of technology frontrunners such as Ozone API and Raidiam, forming a formidable consortium led by Core42. This initiative is not merely a local endeavor but an integral part of the UAE's grand vision to set global benchmarks in the realm of open finance, leveraging past successes to construct what aims to be the most robust open finance ecosystem globally.

Open finance is pivotal for fostering innovation in products and services within the financial sector, with a primary emphasis on enhancing customer-centricity and the integration ('embedding') of financial services seamlessly into the digital ecosystems of various industries, thereby bolstering their operations and offerings.

Under the vigilant oversight of the CBUAE, all stakeholders within this domain will operate within the ambit of licensing and supervision regulations. The phased implementation of Open Finance will commence with Open Banking, followed by Open Insurance, with the aim of extending access to a majority of customers by 2024.

Fatma Al Jabri, Assistant Governor for Financial Crime, Market Conduct, and Consumer Protection at the CBUAE, lauds the advent of Open Finance as a seminal milestone in the UAE's financial landscape, representing a leap forward in the realm of financial infrastructure. She anticipates that this initiative will expedite the uptake of digital financial services, ushering in a new era of innovative and secure digital financial products and services.

This initiative positions the UAE as a global trailblazer by introducing a unified trust framework and centralized API hub—a pioneering move that facilitates secure access to the entire spectrum of banking and insurance markets through a single connection while ensuring that access is granted only to regulated third parties with explicit customer consent.

Beyond technological advancements, the Open Finance initiative forms a crucial component of the CBUAE's overarching strategy to realize its vision and strategic objectives, opening up new vistas of opportunity within the financial services sector and bolstering digital financial inclusion efforts.

Open Finance empowers customers by enabling secure and efficient sharing of their financial data with third parties or other financial institutions. Moreover, it facilitates the initiation of payments and other financial transactions through third-party channels while also enabling customers to procure quotes for prospective financial services seamlessly.

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