The Newsroom

21 October 2020

BisB Embarks on a Strategic Partnership with the CBB to launch the CBB Digital Lab “FinHub 973”

Bahrain Islamic Bank (BisB) announced its strategic partnership with FinHub 973: CBB (Central Bank of Bahrain) Digital Lab, the Kingdom’s latest open application programming interface (API) innovation platform which will enable the testing and development of fintech solutions in order to deliver superior customer-centric digital capabilities.

FinHub973, powered by the Dubai-based Fintech Galaxy’s crowdsourcing and open API platform FinX22, will be fully supervised by the CBB, enabling the Kingdom’s regulator to effectively monitor and proactively manage risks and set any potential controls associated with new and disruptive technologies in a safe and secure sandbox environment.

The CBB Digital Lab, which will be a collaborative effort, between the CBB and several strategic partners, including the Bahrain Economic Development Board (EDB), Bank ABC, Benefit, BisB, ila Bank, and the National Bank of Bahrain; was inaugurated on October 20, 2020 in an exclusive virtual event.

On this occasion, Chief Executive Officer of BisB, Mr. Hassan Jarrar, said, “We are delighted to be partnering up with the CBB alongside the leading Banks in Bahrain to support such collaborative initiatives that promote innovation on a local level, further enabling the Kingdom of Bahrain’s FinTech sector to thrive and cementing its position as a FinTech hub in the region. Thanks to the CBB’s innovative mindset, the Kingdom has already become a testbed for financial innovation, enabling us to access to secure, cutting edge platforms, enabling the development of robust FinTech solutions.”

“In the wake of the ongoing pandemic, the latest trends of technology in the likes of AI and big data, is affecting economic at an unpreceded pace. These collaborative partnerships are essential to catalyze innovation, stimulate competition and idea generation, and the creation of transformative digital solutions in finance, for the benefit of the industry, economy and society at large,” he added.

Governor of the Central Bank of Bahrain, H.E. Mr. Rasheed Al Maraj, added: “We are pleased to launch the FinHub 973 digital fintech lab that will support a seamless transition into digital banking operations, while accelerating the transformation towards an AI-powered digital economy.”

“The COVID-19 repercussions have proven the great importance of expanding digital banking and providing appropriate solutions for electronic payment systems. The Central Bank has early realized the importance of continuously developing the banking sector infrastructure, putting itself at the forefront of regulatory bodies that support innovation in order to establish Bahrain’s position as a top financial center. The launch of FinHub 973 reaffirms the vision of the Central Bank of Bahrain to expand infrastructure in financial technology, unlock innovation opportunities, and introduce new and innovative financial products to the market,” he added.

BisB rolled out an exclusive challenge entitled ‘BisB Innovation Lab’ on the day of the event. The Bank will be challenging participants, namely enterprise ready and globally mature FinTech companies, to develop a solution to support BisB’s credit operations and consumer banking division to further leverage the knowledge of the Bank’s financial advisors with adaptive machine learning by developing a sophisticated and mature platform. The platform must strategically harness the power of extensive data collection and AI intelligence to provide more data-driven insights that are curated to individual customer portfolios, with a special focus on lending products. The final solution developed will require the use of sophisticated data extraction and analysis in order to effectively integrate unstructured data including key market trends, data points in broker submissions, financial history and factor in customer behaviour.

The official hackathon kicks off on the 20th of October and the deadline for submission December 27, 2020, which will be followed by several rounds of submissions for shortlisted candidates, where the finalists will be announced in January 2021.