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The National Bank of Bahrain (NBB), in partnership with Tarabut Gateway, created history earlier this month by becoming the first in the region to roll out Open Banking solutions. As previously covered by StartUp Bahrain, the move effectively raised the bar for the quality of banking services offered in the region. That way, it was indeed a trend-setter that other major banks are expected to follow in the foreseeable future. 

Ever since our earlier coverage of the story, many readers have reached out to us seeking details on how they can benefit from NBB’s Open Banking solutions. So, we figured it would be best to get in touch with NBB and gather all the details you would ever need right from the source. 

Here’s a rundown of all the important bits about Open Banking that customers including startups founders should ideally know. Let’s begin with the basics first:

What is NBB’s Open Banking solution?

Simply put, open banking is a service that offers licensed third parties access to customers’ financial data (with the strict consent of the customer of course!). Which in turn is presented to the customers in a simple and intuitive interface allowing them to see a consolidated view of their accounts, cards, and loan balances across banks in Bahrain. Also, advanced analytics solutions using consolidated customers financial data recommends to customers the best services that cater to their needs.

That way, these entities are in a better place to innovate and offer new financial products and services that address every small-to-big requirements of customers. 

How will NBB protect the privacy and data of its customers?

As for privacy, only licensed businesses and institutions can seek access to NBB’s Open Banking platform. So essentially, these are trusted providers who are answerable to the government and the Kingdom’s regulatory laws and are regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).

Furthermore, NBB’s Open Banking also offers customers complete control over their data. This is to ensure that you can handpick what information you want to share with other institutions and businesses. Not only that, but you can also revoke access to your data any time you want. No entity will be allowed access to your financial information without prior permission from you.

To prevent misuse, NBB is currently deploying various security features including multi-factor authentication, biometrics, and facial recognition for customer registration in their open banking solution. 

How can customers benefit from NBB’s Open Banking solutions on a day to day basis?

NBB’s Open Banking platform is designed to provide you with a holistic, 360-degree insight into your financial management, spending habits, and historic records across banks in Bahrain. You can also leverage financial tools and services built by other companies. You might have to share some of your financial data with third parties to access their services, but as said previously, you’ll remain in complete control of the data.

NBB has rolled out a stand-alone mobile app to make it easier for customers to make the best of its Open Banking platform. 

The app will soon be updated with many new features such as the ability to carry out transactions to and from any compliant Bahraini bank. Additionally, based on a customer’s financial data and habits, the app will recommend new products and services with the intent to better serve their needs.

What’s in it for Bahraini startups and businesses?

One of the foundational objectives behind NBB’s Open Banking solutions is to help the country’s financial services providers and FinTech entities to innovate and build better products. With open and transparent access to customer data, these entities will have the perfect platform to target both retail customers and businesses/enterprises. 

For example, both new and existing businesses can connect to banks APIs and recommend the ideal financial products that add to their product acquisition strategy.

That’s just one of many ways how NBB’s Open Banking solutions can empower enterprises and business owners to make the most out of the data and analytics available at their disposal. 

If you have any queries or feedback about how you can use this new service, feel free to reach out to StartUp Bahrain using our social media channels on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn.

Jenan Al-Mukharriq

Jenan Al-Mukharriq

A highly driven organizing member of the StartUp Bahrain ecosystem. And a Project Manager at Matter In Hand with a passion for content creation and empowering communities.