The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announced that the number of Point of Sale (PoS) terminals inside the Kingdom has exceeded the one million threshold. These terminals can be found at commercial sales outlets in more than 180 cities and villages.
SAMA attributed this achievement to the strategic plan which was implemented in coordination with the financial sector during the past few years. Additionally, large investments were made to develop the payments infrastructure and improve the regulatory frameworks with the aim of stimulating the private sector towards expanding, innovating and offering financial services to new stakeholders that should directly contribute to realize an important objective of the Financial Sector Development Program -one of the Saudi Vision 2030 programs- which is reaching 70% digital payments by 2025. Furthermore, the efforts deployed by "Saudi Payments" in terms of developing and operating the infrastructure and enabling financial institutions to provide the latest digital payment technologies has had a significant impact on this achievement as one of the contributing partners in this vital and important sector for the advancement of payments.
On this occasion, Mr. Ziad Alyousef, deputy governor for Development and Technology confirmed that the number of PoS terminals in the Kingdom exceeded one million, hence reflecting the increase in both consumers and merchants' trust in relying on digital payment methods for their daily transactions, which directly supports the leadership's directions in the digital transformation of the Saudi economy. In fact, PoS terminals are considered as a crucial means to achieve one of the major strategic goals of the Financial Sector Development Program for the growth of payment digitalization, and increased deployment across all commercial sectors in the Kingdom.
Alyousef indicated that the new achievement in the growth of PoS terminals shows the extent to which merchants rely on digital payment methods that facilitate commercial transactions and reduce the operational costs of the merchants. He further added: "The year 2021 witnessed a growth in PoS terminals exceeding 40%, as the number of terminals increased from 721 thousand at the end of 2020 to more than one million by the end of 2021. This increase comes together with a significant growth in transactions through PoS terminals by 80%, which translated into the number of PoS terminal transactions reaching more than 5 billion by the end of 2021, compared to 2.8 billion transactions in 2020." Alyousef pointed to several factors that contributed to these increases, mainly: The cooperation with government entities to provide digital payment options in various commercial sectors, the public awareness on the importance of digital payments, the increase in the number of companies providing payment services, enabling the licensing process at the beginning of 2020, as well as the provision of new services, such as, Mobile Payments and Soft PoS.