Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) Issues License to Manafa, a Finance Company

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) recently announced the licensing of Manafa – a finance company specialized in debt-based crowdfunding in the Kingdom.

Manafa is “a closed joint-stock company with a capital of SAR 40 million.” The license was granted to the company “after a successful trial run in SAMA’s Regulatory Sandbox; an experimental environment dedicated to innovative financial products and services in Saudi Arabia.”

This initiative comes “as part of the vital role SAMA plays in strengthening the finance sector by encouraging innovative activities and enticing a wider pool of investors and companies that can bring added value.”

As noted in the update, SAMA strives “to achieve these goals while demonstrating ultimate competent as well as full adherence to control and supervisory requirements clearly set out by SAMA.”

The central bank “reiterated its commitment to support the finance sector, increasing the efficacy and flexibility of financial transactions, enabling and encouraging innovations in financial services, promoting financial inclusion in the Kingdom and enabling easy and secure access to financial services to all segments of the Saudi society.”

Such a step will contribute towards “achieving Fintech Strategy for the Kingdom to be among the leading countries in Fintech.”

The Saudi Central Bank stressed “the importance of exclusively dealing with licensed and authorized financial institutions, which can be verified by visiting SAMA’s website.”

In other recent updates from Saudi Arabi, it was revealed that the Saudi British Bank (SABB) has announced a strategic partnership with Visa’s Cybersource payment gateway and risk platform, “with the aim of fostering the bank’s growth in an evolving and dynamic eCommerce space.”

This partnership will “enhance the overall capabilities of SABB’s Payment Gateway and, most importantly, enhance network uptime, which will also supplement the bank’s Payment Gateway proposition.”

SABB will leverage Visa’s payment technology “to offer its existing merchant network and explore new opportunities through a simplified onboarding journey and advanced platform functionalities, enabling merchants to provide customers with a frictionless, robust and secure payment experience. ”

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