The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has announced the first two entrants into its FinTech regulatory sandbox: Tramonex, a London-based foreign exchange cash management solution for businesses; and NOW Money, a Dubai-based account and remittance service for low-income workers in the Gulf Cooperation Council countries. The CBB launched its Regulatory Sandbox Framework in June and updated the framework rules at the end of August. The sandbox application process is open to both existing CBB licensees (financial institutions with FinTech initiatives) and other companies (local and foreign). The latter may include financial sector companies as well as technology and telecom companies intending to test an innovative product or service, professional service firms which partner with or service financial institutions, or any other type of applicant working within the financial services.
The duration of the sandbox membership is nine months with a maximum extension of three months. The Framework sets out the eligibility criteria, filing requirements, application and approval process and regulatory timeline. It is noticeable that the first two entrants are not Bahrain-based. This shows the competition building between regulatory bodies in the Middle East to host innovative companies.