Visa and Tarabut Gateway Team to Expand MENA Open Banking

Tarabut Gateway has partnered with Visa for a Middle East/North Africa-focused open banking partnership.

The companies announced their collaboration Tuesday (May 9), with plans to create “data-driven offerings” like credit risk assessments, advanced analytics, and insights before moving on to cross-border payment and lending solutions.

“The future of financial services is being shaped by next-gen digital innovation, with open banking and data sharing serving as a significant driver to help consumers better manage and access their finances,” said Otto Williams, Visa’s Head of Product, Partnerships and Digital Solutions for Central and Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa. 

“As we look to the future of digital financial services, it is clear that the key drivers of growth will be innovation and openness.”

The partnership comes just days after Tarabut Gateway announced it had raised $32 million in a Series A round whose investors included Visa. 

The company said it wants to use the funds to expand in Saudi Arabia, which has made open banking and other forms of FinTech innovation a central pillar of its Vision 2030 strategy for economic development.

As FinTech executives from other sections of the Gulf region have told PYMNTS on multiple occasions, Saudi Arabia’s large market and increasingly sophisticated regulatory and technical infrastructure have turned it into an attractive place for businesses from Gulf FinTech hubs such as Dubai and Bahrain to expand.

Abdulla Almoayed, Tarabut’s founder and CEO, said the partnership will let the company “leverage our data infrastructure to bring new and improved products to customers.”

“As a visionary in the payments industry, Visa’s solutions will support innovation and collaboration across the MENA [Middle East and North Africa] financial sector, and our strategic alignment will strengthen this partnership,” added Almoayed.

This year, Tarabut Gateway has joined forces with Rain, the first regulated cryptocurrency asset trading platform in the MENA region.

The partnership involves Rain using Tarabut Gateway’s open banking payment solution to allow on and off-ramp (fiat-crypto-fiat) transfers for users, increasing speed and reducing errors associated with traditional bank wire transfers. 

“Our partnership with Rain is a perfect cross-sector synergy, made possible by Bahrain’s advanced open banking ecosystem,” Almoayed said at the time. “Crypto trading, wallets, and other blockchain use cases are natural allies in opening up traditional banking and finance.”