The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has begun designing a Sandbox regulatory environment to understand and assess the impact of new technologies in the financial services market in the Kingdom and to help transform it into an intelligent financial center, allowing local and international companies wishing to test new digital solutions to enter the environment to be launched in the Kingdom in the future.
This step aims at achieving a number of strategic objectives of linking the sandbox environment with The Kingdom's vision 2030 that aims at promoting economic growth and boosting investment activities by moving into a cashless society and by promoting the principal of financial inclusion. 2030 vision has been consolidated with 12 executive programs including The Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) to become a diversified and efficient sector that serves the financial services sector and support the development of the national economy by stimulating saving, financing and investment through multiple ways to enable financial institutions to support the growth of private sector. The sandbox aims to attract financial institutions and local and international financial technology companies specialized in financial technology, which are looking to utilize existing and new technologies to provide innovative financial services to Saudi markets such as local and international start-ups, financial technology companies, financial services companies and professional services companies that collaborate with these companies. This initiative is expected to enhance the principal of innovation in financial services and digital payments services, it will help financial institution, and financial technology companies test their products with relaxed controls, which will have a positive impact on the financial sector and facilitates financial transactions and reduces costs.
SAMA clarified that services and products, which are being tested currently, includes E-wallet services, P2P transfers and purchases through QR Codes as well as direct international transfers through financial technology companies in addition to the aggregators of Point of sale (POS) devices, SADAD bills, SADAD account and mada online.
SAMA pointed out that the permission to work in the sandbox environment has been granted to 11 local and international banks to open and update accounts without the need to visit the branches as well as the permission to 7 companies to provide various services in the field of digital payments.
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