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Coronavirus Outbreak Helps Saudi Arabia Reach Target of Non-Cash Payments

Coronavirus Outbreak Helps Saudi Arabia Reach Target of Non-Cash Payments

Wednesday, 25 March, 2020 - 11:15
The Kingdom Center Tower is seen in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, November 5, 2017. REUTERS/Faisal Al Nasser

As businesses have been suspended and a partial curfew imposed across Saudi Arabia to curb the spread of the coronavirus, the Kingdom has witnessed an increase in non-monetary transactions, which would help reach the target set out in Saudi Vision 2030.

Specialists expected the Saudi non-monetary business sector to grow by 37 percent, stressing that the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency would follow a sophisticated payment systems strategy, which aims to enhance electronic payment and reduce cash handling, to reach 70 percent of total transactions by 2030.

“The non-monetary business sector in Saudi Arabia is growing well, in line with the plan of transition to the digital economy, which is the main backbone of the growth engine in the business sector in general, and the entertainment sector in particular,” Renee Welsh, CEO of Embed, the global non-cash payment company, told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Economist Abdul Rahman Al-Atta expected that the business sector and electronic payment operations would grow by more than 37 percent in light of the current crisis, indicating that non-monetary operation techniques “facilitate payments and reduce the costs of dealing in cash on the local economy, as well as enhance transparency in transactions and increase the efficiency of the national economy.”

Al-Atta stressed the need to enhance electronic payment in the next stage, adding that reducing cash transactions was one of the most important strategic goals that the Monetary Agency has been pursuing during the past period by accomplishing many initiatives, projects and investments in this regard.

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