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No Open Banking

Jordan is located on the east bank of the Jordan River. It’s defined by ancient monuments, nature reserves and seaside resorts. Jordan has taken a regulatory-driven approach to Open Finance.

At the beginning of 2023, 88% of Jordanians had access to the internet. The number of mobile connections in Jordan in January 2023 was equivalent to 76% of the total population; however, some people might have more than one mobile phone.

Jordan has taken a regulatory-driven approach to Open Finance. The framework is created to provide an enabling environment for inclusive financial innovation. The main regulatory initiatives concerning Fintech have been deployed by the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ), which has received a mandate from the government.

The Jordan Payments and Clearing Company (JoPACC), in partnership with the Central Bank of Jordan and several Jordanian banks, introduced The Jordan Open Finance Standards in January 2024. This innovative project, developed through the JOIN Fincubator fintech Incubator, aligns with the Central Bank’s “Open Finance Services Instructions” from 2022. The objective of this endeavour is to establish standardised criteria for APIs across key banking services, enhancing interoperability and efficiency in the financial sector.

According to The Global Findex Database 2021, 53% of Jordanians were unbanked in 2021. However, even though Jordan is still largely cash-dependent, the development of online solutions, such as eKYC (electronic Know-Your-Customer), has been accelerated during the Covid-19 pandemic as remote onboarding onto e-wallets has been important to ensure people can receive government support. The Central Bank of Jordan mentions that one of the goals for promoting Open Finance is achieving sustainable financial inclusion and providing wider choices for financial consumers so they can choose the most suitable option for their needs.

The Central Bank of Jordan states that one of the goals for promoting Open Finance is achieving sustainable financial inclusion. Jordan has been adapting its regulatory framework to create an enabling environment for inclusive financial innovation, especially in relation to expanding financial inclusion. 

The main regulatory initiatives concerning Fintechs (p. 68) have been deployed by the Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ), which has received a mandate from the government – in the context of the National Financial Inclusion Strategy (NFIS) launched in 2018 – to reduce the amount of cash in circulation and help in the transition to greater use of the Digital Financial Services (DFS). The number of Fintech has risen steadily and more than doubled between 2020 and 2022

Through the Open Finance initiative, standardising APIs significantly reduces the time and expenses associated with integrating services across entities, facilitating the rapid introduction of numerous innovative fintech solutions and banking products to the market. This is made possible by the development of a unified standard by financial institutions and fintech companies, which is programmed once and then utilised by all institutions for launching services. The initiative involves organising data models into four primary categories within the financial ecosystem, encompassing a total of 16 financial services. The taskforce continually works on enhancing and expanding these services to meet market demands and regulatory requirements under the oversight of the Central Bank of Jordan. These categories include Account Information Services (AIS), Extended Services (ES), Facilities, Products & Services (FPS), and Payment Initiation Service (PIS).

According to Wiley, Jordan is in the global top 25 for finding skilled employees and the availability of scientists and engineers. Nonetheless, Jordan has also identified a skills shortage in the digital and ICT sector. In 2019, the Vocational and Technical Skills Development Law was passed, and an institutional framework for sector-specific skills development was created.

The Central Bank of Jordan (CBJ) established a Fintech Sandbox in 2018 (p. 68), which helps in simplifying the testing of innovative products and services of Fintechs in a controlled and safe environment, within predefined timeframes and in a transparent manner. The main objectives of the Fintech Sandbox are to contribute to building capacity for innovators and business entrepreneurs in the Fintech sector, manage and mitigate risks associated with digital financial services, enhance access to digital financial services which helps in achieving sustainable financial inclusion, attract investment, create jobs, reduce the time needed to enter the market at lower costs, ensure consumer protection, offer training courses and workshops designed by the central bank and its partners and widen choices for financial consumers.

The Jordan Payments and Clearing Company (JoPACC) has made an API gallery available to the market.