IT solutions provider Gulf Business Machines (GBM) has joined forces with Banfico, a provider of open banking implementation services, to support adoption of open banking solutions in Bahrain and the GCC region.

The move in is response to the Bahraini central bank’s new rules, which require banks to follow open banking standards.

The country is said to be the first in the Middle East to embrace open banking.

The initiative is said to simplify online banking and accelerate the pace of innovation in financial services.

Banfico founder and CEO Kannan Rasappan said: “Open Banking is a key regulation explored by many countries to make banking more competitive and innovative.

“The way we do banking in the coming years will be dictated by this regulation where APIs are going to be the norm of future banking products and experience.”

Under the agreement, GBM will offer technology components for the solution.

At the same time, the firm will be responsible for the overall implementation.

Banfico will be in charge of the compliant implementation.

Besides, it will offer consulting services in digital transformation as well as open banking.

GBM Bahrain general manager Abdulla Ishaq said: “Given our history in the Kingdom’s financial sector and our expertise in digital transformation, GBM is well positioned to provide financial customers with solutions to facilitate their digital transformation towards Open Banking.”