September 25, 2023

UAE Banks Federation hosts seminar on future of open banking and finance

Abu Dhabi: UAE Banks Federation (UBF), the sole representative and unified voice of UAE banks, organised a virtual seminar on the prospects of open banking and finance on the 22nd of June, 2023. Several experts from the financial technology and banking sectors and senior executives of member banks of the federation attended the seminar.

The seminar was organised as part of UAE Banks Federation’s continuous efforts aimed at consolidating the leadership of the banking sector through supporting digital transformation and implementing advanced technologies to provide banking services that meet changing customer requirements. This is in line with the directives and policies of Central Bank of the UAE, which has established a comprehensive framework for open finance through the use of pre-approved customer data, supporting the development of innovative financial solutions and services while ensuring that retail customers, SMEs and corporates have better control over their data.

Mr.Jamal Saleh, Director General, UAE Banks Federation, said, “The UAE is witnessing a paradigm shift in financial services as it accelerates digital transformation in the banking sector under the direct supervision of Central Bank of the UAE. The UAE has successfully laid a strong foundation for the growth of open banking and finance in a secure environment to provide banking services tailored to meet the needs of all customer segments and has cemented its leadership in the adoption and use of fintech solutions.”

The Director General added: “Central Bank of the UAE has taken important steps to promote open finance initiatives by encouraging collaboration between banks and fintech startups, which has contributed to developing a thriving open finance ecosystem. The UAE is focused on facilitating the secure sharing of data through unified and secure APIs, with the aim of ensuring customer consent and data privacy.”

He stressed the keenness of UAE Banks Federation, under the directives of Central Bank of the UAE and in collaboration with member banks, to comply with regulatory requirements to ensure the success of open finance, particularly in relation to data protection and cybersecurity regulations and laws.

Saud Al Dhawyani, Group Chief Technology Officer at Emirates NBD and Chairman of the Information Technology Committee at UAE Banks Federation, said: “Organising this seminar on open banking and finance reflects UBF’s strong commitment to accelerate digital transformation and benefit from technological advances. open finance spurs innovation and encourages collaboration between traditional banking and financial institutions and fintech companies, developing innovative solutions such as personalised financial advice, investment platforms and digital payment solutions.”

He added: “Open finance enhances the efficiency and competitiveness of the sector and enables the provision of advanced services at an affordable cost to customers in a secure environment, for which Central Bank of the UAE has put in place comprehensive frameworks to deal with the risks associated with open banking, such as protecting data privacy and security.”

Participants at the seminar examined the evolution of open finance on a global scale, as well as the legal and regulatory developments that provide the necessary framework for the development of solutions. They examined the experiences of the United Kingdom, the European Union, Australia, Singapore and Canada, which have made significant strides in collaboration between banks and fintech companies to foster competition and innovation.

Participants at the seminar further discussed the critical role of banks in ensuring the availability of necessary data through secure APIs that help enable open finance to offer a wide range of financial services such as loans, insurance and investments.

They emphasised the benefits of open finance to retail and institutional clients and financial institutions by improving the customer experience, as open finance offers them tailor-made financial solutions and simplified financial processes and management. Participants also discussed the role of open finance in expanding financial inclusion by providing access to a wide range of financial services, such as credit, insurance and investment opportunities that are inaccessible to many individuals and businesses.

Participants at the UAE Banks Federation seminar stressed the importance of open finance in fostering innovation and improving collaboration between traditional banks, financial institutions and financial technology companies, as well as in the development of innovative solutions such as personal financial advice, investment platforms and digital payment solutions. They explained that increasing competition contributes to improving the efficiency and competitiveness of the sector and will provide customers with advanced services at appropriate costs.

They praised the framework that Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates has put in place to deal with the risks associated with open finance, such as protecting privacy and security, and stressed the importance of working with financial technology companies and technology providers to increase competitiveness by sharing expertise and developing innovative solutions, and encouraging investment in technology infrastructure, mainly through secure APIs, advanced data analytics and seamless integration with service providers to offer seamless experiences and solutions tailored to each customer’s needs, prioritising data privacy and improving cybersecurity.

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