BNPL: Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) Seeks Public Consultation on Rules for Regulating Buy Now Pay Later Fintechs

The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) seeks public consultation on the draft “Rules for Regulating Buy Now Pay later (BNPL) Companies.”

In the interest of transparency and wider participation, SAMA reportedly “invites stakeholders and public to provide suggestions and observations on the draft Rules by visiting the Public Consultation Platform at the National Competitiveness Center.”

This comes as “part of SAMA’s role in supervising and regulating the BNPL companies, and its continuous effort to develop the financial sector in general and empower the FinTech sector in particular.”

SAMA noted “that these Rules set the minimum standards and procedures required to practice the BNPL activity and sustainability of the sector without compromising the Financial Consumer Protection Principles and their rights.”

Suggestions and observations on the drafted Rules “will be received within (30) days of this announcement for assessing their relevance in finalizing the draft.”

The draft is “available on the Public Consultation Platform with the National Competitiveness Center (Link).”

Last month, SAMA announced “that the share of electronic payments in retail sector reached 62% of total payments, including cash, in 2022, surpassing the 60% target set out by the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP), one of the main programs of Saudi Vision 2030.”

This achievement is “a reflection of the continuous and accelerated development of local payments in the past few years.”

The e-payment progress “would not have been possible without the significant improvement in the payments infrastructure, enhancement of existing systems, and introduction of new systems and services.”

In addition, the sector’s progress in the regulatory, technical, and operational aspects “has contributed to the transformation towards recent electronic payments.”

Statistically speaking, the number of PoS transactions “executed via the Saudi Payment Network ‘mada’ reached an unprecedented 7.2 billion transactions during 2022, recording an increase of 40% compared to 2021.”

Mada card online transactions “grew by 76% in 2022, recording 610 million transactions.”

There were 1.4 million number of PoS terminals “as at the end of 2022, an increase of 42% compared to 2021.”

It should be noted “that SAMA seeks to accelerate the digital transformation towards electronic payments, support payment infrastructure and encourage its adoption.”

SAMA’s strategic plans “for the payment sector made this achievement possible by reducing reliance on cash considerably.”

SAMA’s goal is “to increase electronic payment share to 70% by 2025 and to create synergies among government and private sectors to embark on a new era of digitalization for payment systems.”

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