Cashless Kingdom: Saudi approves new e-wallet operator
BayanPay, a digital payments company owned by London-listed Finablr, has received regulatory approval to operate its mobile money platform in Saudi Arabia, as the Kingdom looks to a future without cash.
The facilitation of digital payments in Saudi Arabia is one of several projects overseen by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), which aims to achieve the Kingdom’s vision of a cashless society and to promote innovation in the financial sector.
A digitally transformed economy is one of the key pillars of Saudi’s Vision 2030.
BayanPay is part of SAMA’s digital sandbox and operates digital wallets, as well as an e-commerce platform to facilitate transactions between business, businesses and consumers, and businesses and government.
“We’ve just launched a digital wallet business in Saudi Arabia, which is one of three licences issued recently,” says Binay Shetty, vice-chairman and CEO of BRS Ventures and executive director of Finablr. “The independent licence given by the regulator allows us to start transactions in this space.”
Shetty says BRS Ventures had been looking for an entry point into the Saudi market for a while, but because it was deemed a mobile exchange operator – due to its ownership of Travelex – it needed to develop a more innovative offering.