Internet penetration of 82%, which is by far the highest in central Asia, and about 130% mobile usage.
No Open Banking
In February 2023, the Concept for the Development of Open API and Open Banking in the Republic of Kazakhstan for 2023-2025 was published by CBK and AIFS. The document describes a unified regulatory approach and vision for the development of Open Banking in Kazakhstan. Concrete steps and measures are also proposed to develop the financial infrastructure and legislative environment for the introduction of open banking interfaces. Thus, in 2023, the creation of a permanent working group is expected, as well as the development of a number of infrastructure and regulatory solutions. The main focus will be on maximizing customer value through the detailed elaboration of various use cases. All initiatives envisaged by the Concept are planned to be implemented by the end of 2025.
There is a significant informal economy in Kazakhstan, estimated to be between 27-29% of GDP, and 40% of adults do not have a formal account at a financial institution, and it has been suggested that the cultural heritage of socialism might be inhibiting the ‘liberalisation of finance’ with state-owned financial institutions being inefficient.
Open banking will allow market participants to create innovative payment and financial services, increase their availability, reduce transaction costs, and increase competition.
The government has been focusing on developing a digital currency, and in May 2021, it announced plans to pilot a central bank digital currency. This would involve digital wallets and a plan that by July 2022, a model for making a decision would be complete on the introduction of the digital tenge.
There is no apparent move into Open Banking.