The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority granted 14 fintech licenses to companies in the crowd lending and payment services sectors. These are in addition to the 7 licenses granted earlier this year, 21 in total.
As non cash transactions account for less than a fifth of all transactions and are decreasing, the Kingdom are aiming to grow the number of licenses distributed to 28 by next year in line with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s Vision 2030. Companies granted licenses include; Geidea, Bayan Payments Company Limited, HalalaH, Saudi Digital Payments Company, Saudi Post, Brightware and Tap Payments.
Saudi’s largest telecom operator, STC, launched a digital wallet app called STC Pay last year that allowed users to send money and pay restaurants and stores digitally. By February this year, it had attracted 200,000 customers.
As they become more popular, the number of fintech start ups in the region is forecast to increase from 96 in 2019 to 465 by 2020.