International Finance

Saudi epayments account for over 36% of all payments now

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SAMA is encouraging financial inclusion in the Kingdom by supporting advancements in epayments such as Mada

Epayments in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia account for more than 36 percent of all payment types, including cash, according to a  study by Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) and Saudi Payments Company. These epayments exceeded non-cash usage targets set by the Saudi Vision 2030.

The study shows that card payments took the lion’s share of all payments at nearly 30 percent, while other types included the SADAD platform and other financial payments. In a nutshell, the study reflects the success of SAMA’s strategy to support epayments. Also, the Financial Sector Development Programme is focused on enhancing e-payments and reducing cash transactions in line with Vision 2030, the local media reported.

Earlier this month, the Saudi cabinet approved SAMA’s request to establish the Saudi Payments Company as an independent entity. The Saudi Payments Company aims to increase financial inclusion in the Kingdom and develop the payments sector.

The total number of Mada devices in operation increased to more than 421,000 in 2019 from 107,000 at the end of 2013. The study said that there is a significant growth in the use of Mada devices in the Kingdom’s commercial sector, such as oil and gas. Also, the launch of Mada Atheer technology plays an important role in increasing epayments. 

Mada is the new identity of the Saudi Payment Network. Experts said that the development of this technology demonstrates progress in  the integration and use of Apple Pay. 

“Basically it is to transfer Saudi society from being heavily cash dependent on buying goods and services to a cashless society using digital and epayment,” Talat Hafiz, from the Media and Banking Awareness Committee for Saudi Banks, told Arab News. 

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