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Press Dossier    By Date   03/04/2024 Saudi Arabia’s retail e-payments responsible for 70% of all transactions: SAMA

Arab News, Wed, Apr 03, 2024 | Ramadan 24, 1445

​​Saudi Arabia’s retail e-payments responsible for 70% of all transactions: SAMA

Saudi Arabia: The share of retail consumer electronic payments in Saudi Arabia surged to 70 percent of total transactions in 2023, up from 62 percent in the previous year, official data showed.  

According to the Saudi Central Bank, also known as SAMA, this increase is attributed to the substantial growth of transactions processed through national payment systems in 2023, totaling 10.8 billion deals compared to 8.7 billion in the previous year.  

This aligns with the objectives of the Financial Sector Development Program, as retail consumer e-payments serve as a significant key performance indicator within the plan.   

The program, one of the main initiatives of the Saudi Vision 2030, aims to create a diversified and efficient financial services sector to support the development of the national economy.   

This move also aligns well with SAMA’s ongoing efforts to offer more options and encourage the adoption of digital transactions by further developing the national payments infrastructure and enhancing related services.   

The central bank also stated that it will continue collaborating with its partners to facilitate economic activities.

In recent years, the Kingdom has witnessed rapid growth in the adoption of e-payments as a result of an integrated, strategic, and collaborative approach across the financial community. 

The evolving cost-effective and reliable commerce system helps improve transactions efficiency as well as back financial stability.

In September, a top official of the central bank noted that the fintech sector is thriving in Saudi Arabia. This could be gauged by the fact that the share of digital payments reached 62 percent, close enough to the target of 70 percent by the end of 2025.

Speaking at the opening of a two-day digital conference titled Seamless Saudi Arabia 2023, in Riyadh, Khalid Al-Dhaher, vice governor for supervision and technology at SAMA, highlighted the growth of the Kingdom’s financial sector since the launch of Vision 2030.  

“We have witnessed a significant increase in the number of financial technology companies, reaching 183 companies by the end of the second quarter of 2023. This achievement represents 80 percent of the target set for the year 2025, which is 230 companies,” he said at the time.

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