Visa partners with Saudi Payments to launch Tap to Phone in the Kingdom
By Leandra Monteiro
As part of the efforts to support small businesses across the Kingdom, Saudi Payments, owned by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has partnered with digital payments bigwig, Visa, to launch a low-cost mobile acceptance solution. The new ‘Tap to Phone’ solution will operate through mada, Saudi Arabia’s national payments network, to enable merchants, particularly small and micro businesses (SMBs) in Saudi Arabia, to accept contactless payments via their smartphone devices using Near-Field-Communication (NFC) technology without having to invest in a separate physical device.
The launch of Tap to Phone in Saudi Arabia is a leap forward for the Kingdom’s payments industry and is in line with Saudi Vision 2030’s goal of creating a society less dependent on cash. The new acceptance solution serves the strategy of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) and its subsidiary, Saudi Payments, to introduce new financial technology solutions that would serve all segments of the society and increase financial inclusion.
Fahad Al-Akeel, Saudi Payments Managing Director said, “We are pleased to be partnering with Visa to bring this solution to market at a relevant time when Saudi consumers increasingly expect and desire to use digital payments wherever they shop, and when many businesses need to go digital to respond to changing consumer behavior. Simultaneously, this step enhances the Kingdom’s financial technology capabilities and is congruent with Saudi Vision 2030’s nation-wide drive for digitalization, which in turn would underpin the transition to a digital economy and foster investments in innovative payment solutions to support smaller businesses and improve consumers’ access to quality financial services all around the Kingdom. With further penetration of contactless payments, we are confident that demand for secure and convenient digital payments through Tap to Phone technology will continue and even accelerate post-COVID -19.”
Ali Bailoun, Visa’s General Manager for Saudi Arabia said, “The pandemic has made it critical for all businesses to expand their payment methods beyond cash, as consumers expect and prefer secure and seamless cashless payment methods wherever they shop. But even as the majority of merchants in Saudi Arabia recognize the importance of digital acceptance, more than half (53%) of merchants recently surveyed in our Small Business Recovery study showed keen interest in low-cost acceptance solutions. And that’s where a cost-effective tool like Visa Tap to Phone comes in, helping businesses go digital quickly, avoid lost sales and improve cash flow by accepting contactless payments anywhere, anytime while improving the customer experience. Customers win too, as they can make payments in seconds by simply tapping their contactless card or phone to the merchant’s Tap to Phone-enabled smartphone. We are excited to partner with Saudi Payments to bring this innovative digital payment solution to merchants in Saudi Arabia and help accelerate the Kingdom’s digital transformation goals.”
For merchants, the key advantage of Visa Tap to Phone over traditional Point of Sale (POS) machines is that the technology requires no additional hardware or extra cost. The business owner simply downloads a Tap to Phone app from their acquirer and once registered, can begin accepting contactless payments within minutes. Additional benefits for merchants include the ability to view transactions and payment history. Customers can also receive e- receipts to track their purchases. In addition, Tap to Phone’s sophisticated software terminal inside the smartphone generates a dynamic cryptogram for each transaction – making a Visa card payment as easy, fast and convenient as ever, and giving everyone involved the peace of mind that their data is secure.
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