Union of Arab Banks has allied with banking technology provider Finastra to enhance the digital capabilities of lenders across the Arab League member states. 

The tie-up will see Finastra integrate its banking solution with the Union of Arab Banks’ ecosystem of banks and create a model digital bank.

Together, Finastra and UABdigital, the digital arm of the union, will develop the digital bank, which will be licensed to the union members allowing them to accelerate digitalisation while reducing costs and time to market.

The union is a semi-quasi, non-profit, regulatory organisation, which counts 360 institutions as its members, which include banks, central banks, banking associations, and banking financial institutions. 

UAB digital head said Suleiman Barada said: “Building a truly digital bank can be time-consuming and costly for many of our member banks. With Finastra, we have identified a need to simplify this undertaking to help accelerate the pace of digital transformation for banks across the Arab states. 

“Based on a mutual focus around open banking and digital transformation, our collaboration with Finastra will help our members to remain competitive. We intend to work closely with regulators to ensure compliance by design, helping to expedite adoption.”

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The partnership will give members access to a core-agnostic and application programming interface (API)-enabled solution with capabilities such as open banking readiness and central bank digital currency (CBDC) proofing.

Finastra director, MEA head of partners & ecosystem Ahmed Khalifa said: “Combined with our expertise in open banking, BaaS and our open platform, FusionFabric.cloud, as well as our significant global and regional customer footprint, we believe that together we can help banks to offer innovative banking services, with agility and speed. We are excited to work with the Union of Arab Banks to roll out a model digital bank for the Arab banking community.”