Talaat Hafez, spokesman for Saudi banks, said that the Saudi Payments Company (SPC) is currently working to introduce the automated payment retrieval service for customers in the near future.
According to the spokesman “SPC is working to prepare the National Payments System, as well as all banks and issuers of bank cards or those managing points of sale operations to provide the retrieval service via the bank card. If the customer uses Mada card, the amount will be returned immediately to the cardholder’s account in the same way it was withdrawn from the account at the time of purchase”.
Hafez said that the number of payment machines operating in all sales outlets all over the Kingdom until the end of last month accounted for about 560,000 devices that serve all commercial sectors.
Through a network of most advanced global technical payment systems, Mada connects all automated teller machines (ATMs) and point of sale (POS) terminals. The move gains more significance with the enforcement of mandatory electronic payment methods from Tuesday, Aug. 25, for all retail activities in the Kingdom.
Under the initiative, retail stores and outlets shall make available electronic payment methods for customers in all their outlets and thus bringing down transactions in cash. In the initial five phases, 50 commercial activities, which included 70 percent of the Kingdom’s retail sector, were covered.
The remaining 30 percent of all retail activities came under the electronic payment services effective from Aug. 25. These included sectors of furniture, building materials, accessories, clothes, gas, vegetables, fruits and sewing sectors.
“Traditionally, the service was previously provided only by local banks. Later, this service was made available to companies involved in financial technology and digital payments, thanks to some legislative amendments introduced recently by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), in line with the objectives of the Financial Sector Development Program.”
He said that the service has also been made available to merchants by concluding direct contracts with them and this is to keep pace with the expected and growing demand for these services as well as to avoid any delay in installing the service. “All these efforts have resulted in the number of service providers at present reaching 13 banks and seven financial technology companies,” Hafez added.