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Saudi Arabia Expands Licensing of Foreign Currencies Trade

Saudi Arabia Expands Licensing of Foreign Currencies Trade

Thursday, 7 April, 2022 - 10:30
General view Riyadh, Saudi Arabia /AFP

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announced on Wednesday the licensing of the Al Tabdeel Co. to provide services for buying and selling foreign currencies, and trading them inside the Kingdom.

The company is a merger between Al Natheer and Al Omari Exchange Corporations.

The step comes in line with SAMA’s endeavor to empower the sector, by allowing the merger to attract a new segment of investors to achieve added value in a manner that ensures compliance with the approved regulatory and supervisory framework.

The move also aligns with efforts to enhance financial stability and support opportunities for growth and economic development, as one of the goals of Saudi Vision 2030.

Meanwhile, a recent report issued by the Financial Sector Development Program, one of the Vision 2030 programs, revealed that 34 Fintech firms were given licenses to operate inside the Kingdom.

The companies will offer savings solutions for individuals, debt crowdfunding platforms for SMEs, digital payments, as well as a postpaid service.

The report stated that a program dedicated to support the growth of emerging financial technology companies (Fintech) was designed to transfer the best practices, tools and available resources in the field of financial technology, to develop and expand the scope of their existing businesses in the Kingdom.

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) had announced in October that the Kingdom witnessed the highest adoption of contactless payments through Near-Field Communication (NFC) with 94%, the highest in the Middle East and North Africa, above of the European Union average, and ahead of Hong Kong and Canada.

This success is part of SAMA’s strategy, which builds on the goals of the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 that aims to reduce cash transactions while raising electronic payments to 70% of all transactions by 2025.

In order to achieve these goals, SAMA has fully adopted NFC payments since 2016, taking strategic steps to authorize and facilitate e-payment transactions after ensuring the highest level of security in accordance with international standards and best practices.

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