KSA regulators have recently allowed several supervised experimentations in FinTech products and services as part of a number of pilot projects.
For example, in February 2018, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (“SAMA”) permitted banks to engage in a pilot programme to test out the use of Ripple’s instant cross-border payment settlement blockchain mechanism; in May 2018, SAMA launched ‘Fintech Saudi’, an initiative aimed at raising awareness and developing innovation in the FinTech sector; and in November 2018, SAMA announced that its cryptocurrency project with the United Arab Emirates would be near finalization by mid-2019.
Meanwhile, the Capital Markets Authority (“CMA”) established the ‘FinTech Lab’, and has to date issued two ‘experimental licenses’ – both on 16 July 2018, and both for equity crowd-funding – to two companies: Scopeer and Manafa Capital Company.
There has similarly been a recent drive to push the regulatory regime to develop at the same rate. The Electronic Trade Law, originally published for consultation in 2014, was issued in July 2019. Laws that remain relevant to electronic transactions include the Electronic Transactions Law and the Anti-Cyber Crime Law, both issued in 2007.
The Communications and Information Technology Commission (“CITC”) is also a relevant regulator for the FinTech market, particularly in relation to the use of cloud computing technologies, for which the CITC’s regulatory framework for Cloud Computing, published in early 2018, is relevant.