Saudi Payments, under the supervision of Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), launched an instant payments system called ‘sarie’ in collaboration with IBM and Mastercard, the media reported. The aim of the launch is to improve the Kingdom’s financial ecosystem and is said to be in line with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia’s Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) under Saudi Vision 2030. It is also said to target achieving 70 percent of non-cash transactions by 2030.
Fahad Al AKeel, managing director of Saudi Payments addressed the media and said, “The instant payments system ‘sarie’ can enable us to drive usage and engagement across the Saudi payments ecosystem of banks and businesses.” He further added that it can be of help to lay the foundation for new payments business initiatives that will encourage financial inclusion and banking reconciliation of Saudi banks.
Mastercard is said to consider Saudi Arabia as an important market and the new real-time payment system launched in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) region is expected to open new opportunities for ongoing innovation in and around the Kingdom. The initiative is also expected to significantly contribute towards digitising and modernising traditional banking that will eventually help in achieving Vision 2030. The launch also helps in increasing the efficiency of financial systems and offer consumers access to a wide range of financial services which positively impacts the economy of Saudi Arabia and its citizens.
Another partner in the launch, IBM said that for the banks and financial institutions to remain current, it is necessary to be prepared to adapt to the changing and vital needs of the customers with the help of the latest technology. The system is to use the most advanced technology built on the latest ISO 20022 messaging standards. It is planned to support local government, business and consumer payment need across various payment flows.