The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announced the licensing of three new companies specialized in finance and electronic payments, during the Global Entrepreneurship Congress sponsored by His Royal Highness Mohammad bin Salman, the Crown Prince, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense. The conference held from 27-30 March 2022 AD in Riyadh, under the slogan "Reboot, Rethink and Regenerate." was organized by the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority (Monsha'at) in cooperation with the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN).
SAMA stated that the license was granted to a new financial technology company specialized in electronic payments named Etihad Fintech Company "Mobily Pay". The newly licensed company is now eligible to provide e-wallet payment services in the Kingdom; and thus, bringing the total number of payment companies licensed by SAMA to 17, in addition to 8 companies were granted an "In-principle Approval".
SAMA also kick-started the licensing of Debt-based Crowdfunding by granting "Lendo"- a closed joint stock company with a capital of five million riyals, the license to conduct these kinds of financial activities within the Kingdom after a success trial ran through SAMA's Regulatory Sandbox dedicated to innovative financial products and services within Saudi Arabia.
The Saudi Central Bank also followed-up on the licensing of Consumer Microfinance Activities by issuing a second license to "FinZey" - a closed joint stock company with a capital of 20 million riyals specialized in this kind of financial activities.
These initiatives come as part of SAMA's role in strengthening the sectors of finance and payments-processing services by allowing them to engage in new activities and to entice a wider pool of investors and companies, while ensuring efficient operation by adhering to SAMA's control and supervisory requirements related to corporate governance and risk management, as well as displaying commitment to consumers and seeking to guarantee their protection. The initiatives also align with SAMA's goal of enhancing the Kingdom's financial stability and supporting its economic development and growth as part of its contribution to the objectives of "Saudi Vision 2030".
SAMA reaffirmed that it is committed to supporting the sectors of finance and payments, increasing the effectiveness and flexibility of financial transactions, enabling and encouraging innovations in financial services, enhancing the level of financial inclusion in the Kingdom, and enabling easy and safe access to financial services to all segments of the Saudi society. The Saudi Central Bank also stressed the importance of exclusively dealing with licensed and authorized financial institutions, something that all interested parties may verify by visiting SAMA's official website.