The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has launched a new regulatory sandbox to help fintech start-ups test their banking technologies.

To meet the eligibility criteria, the solutions tested should be innovative, offer customer benefit, and reveal an intention to be implemented in Bahrain.

The solutions can be tested for a period of nine months, with an option to extend the duration for maximum three months. The sandbox will be available to CBB licensees as well as other local and foreign firms and offers a “virtual space” for startups to test their solutions.

CBB governor Rasheed Mohammed Al Maraj said: “We are living in an era of unprecedented changes mainly brought about by technological advancement, where we are witnessing how technology is defining financial services and CBB remains at the forefront of these developments to enable the industry to advance similarly.”

Bahrain has been bolstering its fintech capabilities in the recent times. This includes the launch of two new license types, namely payment services and card processing services, in 2014 to support the foray of non-banking companies into the banking space.