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Real-time payments arrive in Saudi Arabia

Payments system provider Vocalink, has partnered with Saudi Payments, a fully-owned subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), for the launch of real-time payments in the Saudi Arabian kingdom.

An announcement of the partnership between Vocalink, a Mastercard company and SAMA said that it is expected to enable the account to account payments between financial institutions, business and consumers. It aims to upgrade the payments infrastructure and encourage new fintechs to leverage the ecosystem.

“Saudi Payments’ commitment to be a key player in transforming the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia into a cashless society is at the heart of our strategy and aligned with the kingdom’s Vision 2030, as prescribed in the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP),” said Ziad Bin Bandar Al-Yousef, managing director, Saudi Payments.

“We believe the kingdoms’ consumers and businesses will benefit tremendously from leveraging the power of real-time payments and help the kingdom to a smooth transition to the digital economy. Our partnership with Vocalink and IBM to enable instant payments between financial institutions, businesses and consumers will introduce innovative solutions that will benefit our society for generations.”

New services

The new platform will enable credit transfers, e-invoicing and billing, real-time payment acknowledgement, remittances and bulk payments instantly. The technology will also enable instant peer-to-peer (P2P) money transfers between friends and family from their smartphones and without the need of the recipient’s bank details.

“Real-time payments are transforming the financial services sector globally, showcasing the tremendous potential in creating efficiencies across national economies and redefining the overall experience for users in Saudi,” said JK Khalil, general manager of Saudi Arabia and& Bahrain, Mastercard.

“Our partnership with Saudi Payments will foster further innovation across the kingdom. We see this is a significant step in enabling the kingdom’s transition towards a more digital economy.”

Vocalink’s real-time payments technology was first implemented in the United Kingdom in 2008. Most recently, Vocalink was behind the transformative payments system launched in the US for The Clearing House’s real-time payments (RTP).

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