January has been a busy month for the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia (SAMA). Following a request for public input on the “draft general rules for savings products at banks and banks”, the central bank has now licensed various firms to engage in payments and debt crowdfunding activities.
Regarding payments, SAMA has licensed the Network International Arabia to practice the activity of payment services via points of sale, and Buraq to practice the activity of payment services via the electronic wallet. With the addition of these two licenses, the total number of companies licensed to practice payment services activity reaches 27 companies in the Kingdom.
The number of firms licensed to practice debt crowdfunding is much lower than their payments counterparts. Nonetheless, following the licensing of Thry by SAMA, the total number of companies licensed to practice this is now nine. Additionally, following Thry’s addition the number of licensed/authorised financing companies has reached 59 in the Kingdom.
This decision comes within the framework of the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia’s efforts to support and empower the payments sector. Especially as it works towards raising the level of effectiveness and flexibility of financial transactions. It also aims to enable and encourage innovation in financial services. This will be made possible by enhancing the level of financial inclusion and access to financial services to all segments of society.
Request for public input
At the beginning of the month, SAMA launched the draft “General Rules for Savings Products at Banks and Banks” to request public opinions from interested people and specialists, through the Estalaa platform of the National Competitiveness Center.
This project aims to create a general framework for savings products provided by banks, which contributes to encouraging banks and banks to offer savings products and stimulate customers’ benefit from them, in addition to encouraging and enabling financial planning in society.
The views and comments on the draft “Draft General Rules for Savings Products at Banks and Banks” will be received over a period of 15 days, so that the views and comments will be studied after the specified deadline expires. For the purpose of adopting its final version.