Saudi Central Bank Issues Payment Licenses to Arab Sea Financial Company, Fatoraah

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) announces the licensing of two payment financial technology companies, including: Arab Sea Financial Company and Fatoraah in order to provide Payment services for e-commerce.

This brings the total number of payment companies licensed by SAMA “to 21 companies, in addition to 5 companies were granted an ‘In-principle Approval’.”

This comes “as part of SAMA’s role to promote the development of the financial technology sector to ensure ultimate stability and growth of the sector.” This step aims “to contribute to the sector growth while complying with SAMA’s regulatory requirements in line with SAMA’s mandate to enhance overall financial stability and support greater opportunities of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.”

In this regard, SAMA reiterates its commitment “to support and facilitate the improvement of Fintech sector, encourage innovation and increase efficiency in financial transactions in a bid to boost financial inclusion in the Kingdom.”

This also supports the objectives of the Fintech strategy “by making the Kingdom one of the world’s leading countries in the field, and it will contribute to the economic empowerment of the Saudi society and its citizens by promoting further innovations in technology-based financial services.”

Meanwhile, SAMA emphasizes “the importance of dealing with licensed or authorized financial institutions.”

In another update, it was noted that the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) and the Central Bank of the United Arab Emirates signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which aims at establishing “a general framework for cooperation activities in the field of supervision and control within the insurance sector in both countries.”

The signing ceremony “took place on Sep 18, 2022, on margins of the 46th meeting of the Council of Arabia Central Banks and Monterey Authorities, in the presence of His Excellency Fahad Almubarak, governor of the Saudi Central Bank, and His Excellency Mr. Khalid Balama, governor of the Central Bank of the U.A.E.”

The MoU will lay the foundations “for establishing a framework for cooperation between the two parties, to consolidate the role of supervision over the insurance sector in the United Arab Emirates and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to promote mutual co-operation and common interests.”

The MoU came as “a result of an intergovernmental agreement signed between the two countries, aimed at strengthening the cooperation in the fields of services and financial markets.”

This MoU will also “focus on the joint efforts between the Saudi Central Bank and the Central Bank of the U.A.E. for the exchange of supervisory and regulatory information in relation to the insurance sector.”

Including solvency rules, “the calculation of technical allocations, investment policy rules, and procedures related to supervision, follow-up, and enforcement on insurance companies, including cross-border companies.”

The two parties also “agreed to cooperate in the field of training and exchange of supervisory expertise.”

The Central Bank of the U.A.E. and the Saudi Central Bank will also “cooperate on the implementation of international standards in their markets, particularly the International Financial Reporting Standard.”

In addition to the standards and recommendations issued by the International Association of Insurance Supervisors and the Islamic Financial Services Board, the MoU also “provides for the exchange of information related to suspicious activities, fraud in the insurance sector, money laundering and terrorist financing.”

In this context, His Excellency the Governor of the Saudi Central Bank demonstrated that the Saudi Central Bank “looks forward to working hand in hand with the Central Bank of the U.A.E. for the Strengthening of the integrated economic system between the two countries in the field of insurance, and to enhance the economic structure in support of the growth and prosperity of the insurance sector in both countries.”

His Excellency the Governor of the Central Bank of the U.A.E. said:

“We endeavor to strengthen co-operation and exchange experiences with our counterparts in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, in the financial fields, including the insurance sector. The MoU would improve the performance of the financial sector supervision system, investment growth and trade co-operation, as well as promote economic partnership relations between the two countries”.

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