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Saudi Arabia reviews two new digital banking applicants

Saudi Arabia digital banking
The central bank will decide based on the companies’ capital and the scale, nature, and complexity of the operations

Saudi Arabia’s central is reviewing two new applicants for the process of granting them digital banking licences, according to media reports.

The decision to grant them digital banking licences by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) will depend on the value proposition the proposed Saudi Arabian digital banks bring to Saudi Arabia’s banking sector.
Yazeed Alsheikh, director for general of banking control at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority recently confirmed the same to the local media.

The names of the two applicants are not yet known.

Last week, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) issued new digital banking guidelines to be followed by digital banking players in Saudi Arabia.

According to the central bank, the digital banking guidelines of Saudi Arabia complement its banking licencing guidelines and minimum criteria.

These new digital banking guidelines issued by Saudi Arabia must be considered as additional conditions to be met along with the licensing guidelines for conventional banks, according to SAMA.

In a statement, SAMA said, “The additional guidelines are to keep up with the developments in the financial and information technology sectors and to achieve the objectives of the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) and Saudi Vision 2030 by developing the digital economy.”

Last year, the central bank started processing applicants for three new banking licences in the kingdom. Reportedly, two of the new licences were for traditional banks and one for a digital bank.

Recently, SAMA granted a licence to BayanPay-a network brand of Finablr, to provide payment services in the country. Finablr is a Saudi Arabia-based global platform for payments and foreign exchange solutions.

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