Banks urged to comply with OBF requirements

Retail banks have just over nine months to implement the second phase of the Bahrain Open Banking Framework (OBF).

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) yesterday issued a circular directing financial institutions to comply with the requirements for the second phase of the framework by end-June 2022.

This includes guidelines and standards related to: Sharing open data (publicly available data such as ATM and branch locator); Domestic standing orders; International standing orders; International future dated payments; and Bulk/batch payments.

The first phase of the framework was launched in May 2020, with an aim to improve the reach and quality of services offered by retail banks through digital online and mobile channels.

The model includes supporting technical standards such as APIs, customer experience guidelines, cyber security standards and other operational standards.

Consumers can expect to benefit from cheaper loans, automated accounting, and new payment methods as a result of widespread open banking adoption.

The initiative is part of a larger upgrade of the Bahraini financial system to foster competition and enhance efficiency in light of demand for connectivity and changing consumer trends.

Yousef Al Fadhel, executive director for corporate services at the CBB, said: “The new directives of the second phase of the Bahrain OBF will provide an opportunity for retail banks and financial institutions to provide a wider range of services with greater efficiency, at lower costs and in a more customer-centric manner. This will further enhance the competition and efficiency of the financial system keeping in view changing consumer trends, and expedite the transformation towards a digital economy on a wider scale.”




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