The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has announced the launch of Esal, an e-Invoicing business payment platform that will revolutionize the payment processes for government entities and businesses in the Kingdom. In line with international best practices, the platform will significantly improve the competitiveness of the Saudi economy.
In line with Saudi Vision 2030 and the objectives of the financial sector development program that aims to raise the digital financial transaction rate, Esal, will help reduce transaction costs and promote organizational efficiency by simplifying the invoicing process between suppliers and various government entities and business sectors. The platform will also improve payment management by providing better visibility on invoice status and access to user-friendly graphs and payment analyses while enabling reconciliation and settlement through an integrated digital control panel. In addition, the one-stop solution will limit the need for cash collection, thus creating significant cost savings.
Commenting on the launch of the new platform, Hashem bin Othman Alhekail, Deputy Governor for Banking Operations at SAMA, said: "At SAMA, we strive to boost non-cash transactions, make financial services more accessible to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and consistently adopt new technologies in line with our Integrated Digital Payment Strategy. Across the globe, we have recently seen e-invoicing spread with increasing speed, with the benefits of country-wide adoption being felt across Europe and Latin America. With this in mind, we developed a business-friendly platform that will support Saudi Arabia's thriving economy. With plans to add additional functionalities to the service throughout the coming year to further improve B2B payment processes, we strongly believe that Esal will be the key to unlocking significant growth for the Kingdom, in line with Vision 2030's objectives."
The platform service spans the entire invoice lifecycle - from the time the invoice is raised to the bill settlement - therefore enabling users to digitally send invoices to their customers, receive electronic payments and automate reconciliation. In addition, by supporting optimized cash flow management, Esal will particularly benefit SMEs in Saudi Arabia.
Ziad Al Yousef, Managing Director of Payment Systems at SAMA, said: "The payments landscape has been increasingly shifting towards electronic methods in KSA. While the B2C sector has benefited from having access to a panoply of payment options provided by the national payment system, we developed Esal because wanted to ensure that businesses and governments also had a secure solution to electronically transfer invoices and collect payments in a swift and transparent way. Further, by facilitating interactions between suppliers and buyers, our service will enable immense improvements in customer experience, financial management and collections and bring about substantive benefits to the broader Saudi economy."
Leading firms across several industries including Insurance, Retail, Healthcare, Industrial goods and Logistics in both the public and private sectors have already signed up to use the Esal platform, which is available to all businesses and government entities in Saudi Arabia. Please visit www.sadad.com for more details.