The framework that supports the implementation of Open Banking in Bahrain.
Bahrain Open Banking Framework – Bahrain OBF
The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB)
The API specifications are designed to be extensible, allowing for updates to capabilities and functionality.
The Bahrain OBF follows the PSD2‘s guidance. In addition, the Bahrain OBF API specifications have drawn references from the UK OBIE API specification guidelines, the intellectual property rights for which belong to OBIE, UK and are subject to usage limitations as specified by OBIE, the UK.
Buy now, Pay later (BNPL) offers customers a flexible range of instalment options to choose from while shopping. First introduced and revolutionised by Klarna, a Swedish financial firm, in 2005. Recently Taly launched the first Sharia-compliant BNPL service in the Kingdom of Bahrain, which is free for customers.
v1.0.0 / 28 Oct 2020
Access to account information and payment initiation services requires access to customer accounts through APIs with licensees maintaining customer accounts.
The Bahrain OBF API specifications have drawn references from the UK OBIE API specification guidelines, the intellectual property rights for which belong to OBIE, and are subject to usage limitations as specified by OBIE.
The first in the world to include Islamic banking licenses.
The framework is principally based on global ISO standards, specifications and guidelines as published by the Open Banking Implementation Entity (OBIE) in the U.K, the Open Banking standards in Australia, and the Payment Services Directive (PSD2). These have been customized for implementation in Bahrain based on existing practices and terminology used by the Bahrain ecosystem.
Banks must share generic product information relevant to all the principal retail banking products and services, free of any fees or charges.
In addition to these basic services, AISPs/PISPs are free to provide other value-added services for which they may bilaterally agree with the customer. Thus, some accredited third-party providers may decide to charge for some of their products/solutions/services customised for customers’ needs.
App To App Redirect
“AISPs must provide users/customers with a facility to view and revoke on-going consents that they have given to that AISP. They may have consented to share data from several ASPSPs with a single AISP.”
Access to the Open Banking API is secured using the Open ID Foundation’s Financial Grade API (FAPI) Profile.
Access also requires customers (Payment Service Users or PSUs) to undergo Strong Customer Authentication (SCA) as part of OpenID Connect authorisation flows.
The API currently supports app->web, mobile-web->web, web->web authentication flows.
More about security.
Parties Or Contacts
Future Dated Payments
Single Domestic Payments
Single International Payments
The Central Bank of Bahrain’s (CBB) rules relating to Open Banking were introduced in December 2018, when the CBB mandated the adoption of Open Banking for all retail banks in the Kingdom. While a majority of the banks and the third parties have progressed on implementation of Open Banking to meet the prescribed deadline of June 2019, in order to accelerate adoption, the CBB felt the need to ensure that there is a high degree of consistency in the implementation of Open Banking. Towards this objective, the CBB, in consultation with industry participants, has developed the Bahrain Open Banking framework of standards and guidelines.
In October 2020, the Kingdom launched the Bahrain Open Banking Framework (Bahrain OBF) and the framework is holistic in defining the Open Banking Regulation, guidelines, technical standards for Open API platforms, security standards (including data privacy), and overall governance.
Governed by the CBB (Central Bank of Bahrain). The board of CBB compromises of seven Directors, appointed by Royal Decree for a renewable term of four years.
The Governor, with a ministerial rank, is in charge of the day-to-day management and is directly accountable to the Board. This position is appointed by Royal Decree for a renewable 5-year term, and it might be supported by Deputy Governors.
The responsibilities of the Governor include presenting a report to the Board within 3 months after the end of the fiscal year regarding operations, audited accounts and external auditor’s opinion on said accounts.
CBB is also required to present financial and operational reports to the Board and the Ministry of Finance.
Internal governance is maintained effectively through a system of internal committees, documented policies, procedures, internal audits and quality assurance functions.
Read more about governance.
The framework will continue to be revised and updated periodically, based on inputs from the industry and changing global trends.
The list of CBB licensees who have provided self-declarations to CBB stating that they have completed their implementation tasks and are fully compliant with Bahrain OBF v.1.0.0 (Phase 1).