Saudi cabinet gives green light for a national payments company

Saudi Arabian Monetary AuthorityThe Saudi cabinet has approved the central bank’s request to establish Saudi Payments Company as the Kingdom aims to transform into a less cash-based society.

The national payments company aims at increasing financial inclusion through the organisation and development of the payments sector and the establishment of an independent entity, according to Dr. Ahmed bin Abdulkarim al-Kholifey, the governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).

This is in order to enable the system to provide safe and reliable basic services to achieve compatibility by providing common infrastructure to ensure competitiveness among payment service providers in line with the objectives of the Financial Sector Development Program, one of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 programs.

“The establishment of the payment company is in accordance with international best practices, which usually entrust the preparation and operation of payment infrastructure services to national companies,” Ahmed bin Abdulkarim al-Kholifey said in a statement on SAMA website.

“In addition, this should contribute to the developing of technical and operational specifications that enable all providers to work in full compatibility to promote innovation,” he added, noting that central banks contribute to the establishment of payment infrastructure by linking local and international payment service providers from licensed banks and companies with payment networks and systems.

SAMA has worked within the Financial Sector Development program on several initiatives aimed at accelerating innovation and developing the sector. This includes the establishment of the legislative environment Regulatory Sandbox to enable startups and entrepreneurs to experience their services within a pilot framework with specific controls. SAMA has also worked on launching the Saudi Fintech initiative.

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