Visa and mada launch new mobile-based payment app

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Ali Bailoun

VISA, the world leader in digital payments, on Sunday announced that it has partnered with mada, the national payment scheme, to bring Saudi consumers mada Pay, the first mobile payment solution that supports contactless (NFC) transactions to launch in the Kingdom.

mada Pay is an Android-based mobile application that enables cardholders to make fast, easy and secure contactless mobile payments at NFC-enabled merchants throughout Saudi and abroad with KSA-issued Visa cards (credit and prepaid). Visa and mada co-badged (debit and prepaid) cards can also be used with mada Pay.

The mada Pay app features built-in security technology enabled by Visa Token Service and mada Tokenization Platform that replaces card data, including the 16-digit card number, with a “token” (a random number), to protect cardholders’ account information. During the transaction, the token is selected (either a mada or Visa token) and submitted into the payment process rather than the actual card information, depending on the type of card and geographical location where the transaction occurs. This means that users of digital applications such as mada Pay are able to pay, safe in the knowledge that they are protected by multiple layers of security.

Ali Bailoun – Visa’s General Manager for Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, said: “We’re delighted to be partnering with mada to launch mada Pay, the first digital application of its kind in Saudi Arabia, a secure and innovative cashless made possible by our joint secure tokenization technologies. This initiative reflects our commitment to supporting Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030 by leveraging our global capabilities and solutions to help build a secure, seamless and modern payments infrastructure that will facilitate the shift towards cashless commerce.”

Ziad Al Yousef

Ziad Al Yousef, General Manager of the General Department of Payments Systems at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, said: “Offering consumers a digital application is an important step forward in supporting the government’s efforts to achieve Vision 2030. We are pleased to be partnering with Visa and other international players to deliver such a safe, convenient and interoperable new way to pay.”

Earlier this year, Visa released the results of an independent study conducted by Roubini ThoughtLab and commissioned by Visa, “Cashless Cities: Realizing the Benefits of Digital Payments”, that examined the economic impact of increasing the use of digital payments in major cities around the world.

“Our Cashless Cities study shows that increased usage of digital payments, such as cards and mobile payments, could yield a net benefit of up to SR25.12 billion annually to consumers, businesses, and government in Riyadh. Today’s partnership is a great example of how Visa, the leading digital payments company globally, is well positioned to work with our partners in government – as well as across banks and merchants, in unlocking the financial benefits of moving towards digital payments,” added Bailoun. — SG

This article was first published in  Saudi Gazette

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