Banks Look to API Monetization in New White Paper on the Future of Open Banking in the MENA Region

Brankas Team November 06, 2023
Banks Look to API Monetization in New White Paper on the Future of Open Banking in the MENA Region

Manama // 27 October 2023 — Arab Financial Services (AFS) and Brankas are thrilled to unveil an illuminating white paper that offers a comprehensive exploration of the future of financial services in the MENA region, with a primary focus on Open Banking and Open Finance. Titled “The Future of Financial Services and Trust in the MENA Region,” this white paper serves as a beacon guiding the financial industry through the transformative landscape of Open Banking and beyond.

Some key insights from the white paper:

  • Global Impact of Open Banking: As of August 2023, over 65 nations have embraced Open Finance, driving financial innovation worldwide.
  • MENA Region’s Open Banking Momentum: The MENA region is poised for an Open Banking breakout period in 2023-2025, with countries like Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE taking the lead.
  • Evolution from Open Banking to Open Finance: Countries like Australia, India, Brazil, and the UK are extending the data sharing mandate to non-banking sectors, ushering in Open Finance and Open Economy.
  • Opportunities for Financial Institutions: Open Banking offers various pathways for banks to innovate and drive digital transformation while addressing readiness levels.
  • Collaboration for Maximum Impact: The success of Open Banking hinges on industry-wide collaboration, with key players including data aggregators, payment processors, cybersecurity firms, and identity verification entities.

The white paper reveals compelling monetization strategies for open banking, such as premium APIs—like Emirates NBD’s top API banking service—BaaS APIs that empower and enable brands looking to provide financial services, like Banque Saudi Fransi’s APIZone within its open banking technical sandbox, and cutting-edge marketplaces, like Mashreq Bank’s partnership with fintechs and startups.

“To truly harness the transformative power of open banking, banks must evolve beyond just ticking the regulatory boxes. The real journey begins when we shift our focus from mere compliance to leading the charge in innovation, embracing new paradigms, and adapting to the dynamic contours of a rapidly changing financial landscape. It’s about proactively shaping the future, not just responding to it.” Todd Schweitzer, CEO - Brankas

Trust is paramount in Open Banking. The white paper delves into the crucial levers for building a trust-centric Open Banking ecosystem, encompassing authentication, API security, privacy standards, and more. The MENA region emerged as a beacon of trust in the financial sector in the Statista survey from 2023. Among the 32 nations surveyed, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) clinched noteworthy ranks, standing 5th, 7th, and 10th, respectively. Such rankings not only underscore the intrinsic faith customers in these countries place in their financial institutions but also spotlight the profound relationship and rapport banks have cultivated with their clientele over the years.

“Open banking isn’t just a technological trend; it’s the bedrock of tomorrow’s B2B financial landscape in MENA. From the seamless integration of payroll systems and the effortless management of supplier invoices to the swift execution of employee reimbursements, the opportunities open banking brings to the fore are transformative. As financial industry leaders, our vision should be centered on not just adapting, but reshaping the financial contours of tomorrow.” Samer Soliman, CEO - Arab Financial Services

The white paper is a great resource for financial institutions, FinTech innovators, and industry professionals looking to navigate the dynamic and evolving landscape of Open Banking and Open Finance in the MENA region.

To access and download the full white paper, please visit:

About Brankas

Brankas is a leading global open finance technology provider. We provide API-based solutions, data and payments solutions for financial service providers (like banks, lenders and e-wallets) and online businesses. Brankas partners with banks to build and manage their open finance infrastructure, producing APIs for real-time payments, identity and data, new account opening, remittances, and more. With Brankas’ secure open banking technology, online businesses, fintech companies and digital banks can use Brankas APIs to create new digital experiences for their users.

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About AFS

Arab Financial Services was formed in 1984 to provide payment products, services and expertise to banks and merchant groups and deliver customized payment solutions in an increasingly divergent, disruptive, and dynamic payment ecosystem.

A key to the growing and continued success of the company was an executive team determined to invest in the most up-to-date, leading-edge technologies. AFS is owned by a total of 37 banks and financial institutions and serves over 60 clients in more than 20 countries across MEA.

Today, AFS is the region’s leading digital payment solutions provider and Fintech enabler, regulated by the Central Bank of Bahrain.

AFS’s innovative approach to the provision of financial services is evidenced by a series of pioneering payment services that covers card processing services, merchant acquiring, fintech solutions and an impressive array of value-added services.

The emphasis that AFS places on innovation has positioned the company as a driving market force, delivering a rich portfolio of payment solutions including digital mobile wallets, customer orientated Merchant Acquiring services; Bahrain’s leading digital payroll solution Al Rateb, global Contact Centers and much more.

Trusted by businesses across the region AFS has been recognized as the “Best Payments Solutions Provider – Bahrain” by MEA Finance Awards 2022, “Best New Payment Solutions Provider for MSME Business Bahrain 2022" by Global Business Magazine, “Leading Payments Innovator Bahrain 2022” by Global Business Outlook and “Best Payment Solution Provider Bahrain 2022” by Global Banking & Finance Review.

Visit for more information and join the conversation on LinkedIn.