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Saudi Arabia developing integrated payment environment

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Time: February 24, 2019  

Ahmed Alkholifey, Governor of SAMA, reviews latest technological innovations at MEFTECH 2019 in Riyadh on Sunday. — Courtesy photo

Saudi Gazette report

Riyadh — The Kingdom is developing an integrated payment environment to centrally link traders, customers and service providers to complete payments through the same platform regardless of service provider.

This was revealed by Governor of Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) Ahmed Alkholifey at MEFTECH, the leading banking, Fintech and payments conference and exhibition here on Sunday.

He said one of the main objectives of SAMA is to reduce the dependence on cash circulation through the continuous development of the national payment infrastructure to support and facilitate the transition to an electronic payment environment, which directly contributes to the promotion towards a cashless society, one of the objectives of the Financial Sector Development Program.

“We are proud to have handled over 2.3 billion transactions over the last year alone, with a total financial value exceeding SR50 trillion,” Alkholifey said.

“In order to achieve the objective of compatibility, Saudi Payments Company in the past period has worked to standardize the payments of smart devices through the QR code technology, which helps to enhance the levels of service, and facilitate, and make available through a unified window serving all customers e-portfolios depending on their brands,” he said.

Ziad Al Yousef, Managing Director, Saudi Payments, said, “Saudi consumers are embracing online payments at a faster rate than ever before with a 40% month-on-month growth and in line with the global growth rate of adoption.”

He said plans are afoot to engage with non-bank payment service providers to widen the reach and bring more payments into the digital fold.

This article was first published in the Saudi Gazette

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