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Zain Groups Tamam Granted First Consumer Micro-Financing License in Saudi Arabia

Zain Group, a mobile telecom innovator in seven markets across the Middle East and North Africa, has announced that Tamam Financing Company (Tamam), the financial technology subsidiary of its operation in Saudi Arabia has been officially licensed by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) to provide micro-financing services to consumers across the Kingdom.

This makes Tamam the first entity in the Kingdom and the region to be licensed by a regulator to offer consumer micro-loans via a fully digital customer experience, through a mobile app.

The licensing follows the completion of an eighteen-months testing period within SAMA’s Regulatory Sandbox. The rigorous process saw the app and the service vetted for functionality, security, and compatibility with customer user profiles in Saudi Arabia, in line with the Sandbox’s guidelines. The platform displayed high product viability and strong demand throughout testing and obtained PCI-DSS accreditation which protects the security of the digital infrastructure and data.

Established in 2019, Tamam aims to increase financial inclusion in the Kingdom in line with the Financial Sector Development Plan, which forms part of Saudi Arabia’s Vision 2030. The platform provides individuals requiring financing the opportunity to immediately avail a Shari’a-compliant consumer micro-finance. The end to-end Shari’a approved process takes less than 5 minutes from downloading the app to receiving the financing amount based on the user credit profile.

Bader Al-Kharafi, Zain Vice-Chairman and Group CEO, Zain KSA Vice-Chairman and Tamam Chairman said, “We are extremely proud of the teams at Zain Group, Zain KSA and Tamam in the successful delivery of this innovative Shari’a compliant service that provides consumer micro-finance in less than five minutes through a mobile app. Innovation is key to our ongoing developments and investing in viable digital services such as the fintech sector is a strategy we have launched a few years ago with Zain Cash and continue to implement across our markets as a critical component to our sustained evolution and success.

“Zain KSA’s evolution to becoming a digital lifestyle provider requires us to take bold moves in new digital areas, and we are pleased at how the Saudi Central Bank and the Kingdom’s wider community are extremely receptive to such developments. We believe the thorough testing achieved during the eighteen months of trials has made our platform the most robust of its kind, and we look forward to increasing the number of consumers benefiting from micro-financing services.”

Fintech services remain largely under-penetrated in the Middle East, so the establishment of the first consumer micro-financing platform in Saudi Arabia represents a fantastic opportunity for growth.

Sultan Al Deghaither, Zain KSA CEO and Tamam Vice-Chairman & MD, said: “The license granted to us by the Saudi Central Bank is a quantum leap for Tamam and strengthens its position as a leading provider of financial technology solutions locally as well as regionally. Innovation and investment in digital services, such as fintech, is at the heart of Zain KSA’s vision to be the leading provider of digital services in the Kingdom. The company’s ambition requires us taking advantage of new areas of digital growth, playing our key contributory role in the Kingdom’s 2030 Vision.”

Zain Group’s activities in fintech commenced with the award-winning Zain Cash mobile money platform that has facilitated the disbursement of monetary support through eye scans to vulnerable individuals by the UNHCR, and it continues to expand, impacting people’s lives for the better in Iraq and Jordan.

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