CBO set to receive applications for Fintech live testing

12 December 2020

The formal launch of a Fintech Regulatory Sandbox (FRS) initiative by the Central Bank of Oman (CBO) last week opens the way for Fintech solutions providers to live test their innovative apps that are enabled by new technologies, in a safe environment under the supervision of the CBO.
To this end, the regulator has published the framework for the Fintech Regulatory Sandbox initiative on its website ( It includes the eligibility criteria for application, processes and expectations, as well as the evaluation process of the Sandbox live testing period. The first phase of the FRS will be open for receiving Fintech applications related to payments solutions.
A Fintech Regulatory Sandbox is a common and worldwide-used approach to achieve the objective of harnessing opportunities for innovation in the financial sector while mitigating the accompanying risks.
The FRS is a testing environment in which the CBO will grant certain regulatory exemptions for participants that have Fintech solution applications entering the FRS, thus allowing them to live test their banking, payments and other financial services solutions on volunteer customers in order to prove their viability. Such testing is live in the sense that it will include actual volunteer customers yet with limitations on their numbers, the volumes and values of operations as well as on the way some operations are conducted.
Tahir al Amri, the Executive President of the CBO, stated that this initiative will allow the local financial sector to develop through a safe testing environment that allows entrepreneurs and financial institutions to keep up with the rapid changes in financial technology worldwide.
The FRS will enhance competition in the financial sector by allowing participants to better understand the benefits and risks of their Fintech solutions, as well as by reducing the time needed to fully offer the solution to the local market.
This experience will allow the CBO to introduce agile regulatory frameworks and other strategic initiatives to foster innovation in the Omani financial sector while maintaining financial stability and ensuring high standards for consumer protection.


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