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KSA issues its first FinTech licences.

Saudi Telecom Company (stc)'s electronic payment subsidiary (stc pay) has obtained a FinTech license as an e-wallet from the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), making it the first of two licensed FinTech companies in Saudi Arabia (KSA).

According to Ahmed Al Enezi, chief executive of stc pay, the e-wallet currently has two million clients and 3.2m smart device downloads across the Middle East, making it the largest e-wallet in the region within a year of its launch.

Payment services company Geidea and stc Pay are now the only two FinTech companies to graduate from SAMA's sandbox, with 19 other companies currently going through the experimental environment.

In a statement, SAMA said that it seeks to achieve the objectives of the financial sector development programme, which is one of the pillars of the KSA's 2030 vision, in enabling financial institutions to support private sector growth by opening financial services to non-banking actors like payment services providers and financial technologies.

The mobile wallet has become very popular among expats in KSA after introducing a cross-border money transfer service that's powered by Western Union last year.

Giedea has been providing electronic payment solutions like payment terminals to merchants in Saudi Arabia since 2008. According to its website, it currently serves over 50,000 merchants in the KSA.

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:Feb 4, 2020
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