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August 9, 2022

On the web

Saudi Arabia Among Top Countries Globally for Contactless Payment Adoption: Visa

Al Arabiya English

“Saudi Arabia is among the top markets globally for contactless payment adoption, with nine in 10 transactions made with contactless cards or devices throughout the Kingdom, according to digital payments giant Visa. In line with Saudi Vision 2030’s goal to reduce the country’s reliance on cash, Saudi Arabia has made great strides in near-field communication adoption, Visa’s General Manager for GCC cluster Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and Oman Ali Bailoun told Al Arabiya English.”

July 21, 2022

On the web

UnionPay International Reaches Deal with KSA’s Bank Albilad (Saudi Arabia)


“UnionPay International Middle East Branch (UPI) has expanded its acceptance in Saudi Arabia thanks to a cooperation deal with Bank Albilad (BAB), one of the kingdom’s largest shariah-compliant Islamic banks. BAB is UnionPay’s fifth partnership in the country and the first to sign up since 2018, giving UPI customers full access to all BAB’s points of sale (POS), ATMs and online merchants moving forward. Coverage of UnionPay card POS terminals in Saudi Arabia currently stands at around 50% and ATMs at approximately 68%. The new cooperation deal continues to expand acceptance of UnionPay cards in the country, providing services to more local merchants and cardholders.”

July 7, 2022

On the web

FSB Sets Out Performance Indicators for Progress on Boosting Cross-Border Payments

Finextra Research

“In 2020, the FSB put together a roadmap for boosting cross-border payments in response to Saudi Arabia making the improvement a priority of its G20 presidency.Last year, the board set quantitative global targets for addressing the four challenges faced by cross-border wholesale, retail and remittance payments – cost, speed, access, transparency. But, the organisation admits that measuring progress toward these targets will not be straightforward because no comprehensive data sources exist.”

April 22, 2021

On the web

Checkout.com Leads $110 Million Round for Saudi Fintech Tamara


Checkout.com is leading a $110 million funding round for Saudi payments firm Tamara in one of the Middle East’s largest-ever startup investments as demand booms for e-commerce and fintech solutions. Proceeds of the Series A capital raise, which includes both equity and debt, will be used to bankroll Tamara’s expansion across the Gulf markets by the end of this year and then the rest of the Middle East, according to a statement Thursday. The company raised $6 million in seed funding at the start of this year and is predominantly active in Saudi Arabia and the neighboring United Arab Emirates.”

April 21, 2021

On the wires

Saudi Payments Launches Instant Payments System ‘sarie’ in Cooperation With IBM and Mastercard | Middle East/Africa Hub

“Saudi Payments, under the supervision of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announced the launch of Saudi Arabia’s instant payments system ‘sarie’ in cooperation with IBM (NYSE: IBM) and Mastercard (NYSE: MA), the leading technology company in the global payments industry. This collaboration marks a key milestone for payments innovation in the region and is aligned with Saudi Payments’ aim to improve the Kingdom’s financial ecosystem, mainly through the adoption of faster payments and improvements to banking reconciliation. Today, ‘sarie’ supports all Saudi banks across the Kingdom and is available for use by their customers.”

July 8, 2020

On the wires

Saudi Payments and Discover Sign Network Alliance Agreement

“Discover and Saudi Payments signed a strategic agreement that will increase the global acceptance footprint for both organizations. The agreement will give Discover, Diners Club International, PULSE and network alliance cardholders the ability to use their card on the mada network. This includes at Point-of-Sales (POS), on e-commerce platforms and at ATMs across the Kingdom. It also allows Saudi banks to issue cards that will be accepted on the Discover Global Network for international purchases and cash access outside of the Kingdom.”

June 4, 2020

On the wires

MoneyGram Launches Partnership With Al Rajhi Bank to Transform Saudi Arabia Cross-Border Payments Market

“MoneyGram International, Inc., a global leader in cross-border P2P payments and money transfers, today announced that it has entered into a strategic partnership with Al Rajhi Bank, the largest Islamic bank in the world, and Tahweel Al Rajhi, the remittances arm of Al Rajhi Bank, to provide money transfer services in Saudi Arabia. The partnership covers both digital and walk-in channels and will enable strong customer growth in one of the world’s largest remittance markets.”

March 12, 2018

On the web

Riyad Bank to issue contactless bracelets


“Saudi Arabia’s Riyad Bank is getting into the wearables market, launching a contactless bracelet and stickers for cell phones. Fitted with Gemalto’s contactless MiniTag, the bracelets may be linked to the user’s existing debit or credit account as well as to pre-paid accounts for swift tap-and-go shopping on the high street.”

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