RIYADH: As Saudi Arabia aims to diversify its financial sector by accelerating development in fintech, its central bank has granted another license to a new payment technology firm, Tweeq International financial Co., to offer e-wallet services in the Kingdom.
This brings the total number of payment companies licensed by the Saudi Central Bank to 23, in addition to five companies that have received an “In-principle Approval.”
The new licensee Tweeq is a Saudi-based fintech firm that offers ‘tailor-made’ payment and financial solutions to individuals and small and medium enterprises in the Middle East and North Africa region.
Last month, SAMA granted a new license to another smart digital payment company, Tiqmo, to provide e-wallet services in Saudi Arabia.
This is part of SAMA’s strategy to promote the development of the financial technology sector and ensure ultimate stability.
The central bank said this should help attract new investors and bring added value to the sector, while complying with SAMA’s regulatory requirements meant to enhance the overall financial stability and support greater opportunities of the Saudi Vision 2030.
This comes after SAMA granted permits in September to a new batch of companies to provide open banking solutions in the Regulatory Sandbox.
The companies that were granted permission were: Wally Global Arabia, Sanam Aliliddikhar for Information Technology, Istishraf Al-Bayanat for Financial Technology, and Spare Arabian Financial Co. This brought the total number of permitted firms operating under SAMA’s Regulatory Sandbox to 42, of which 15 have graduated by obtaining full authorizations and were licensed by SAMA.
The Regulatory Sandbox was established to help local and international startups test their digital solutions in a live and controlled environment before taking their products to the market.
SAMA recently updated its Regulatory Sandbox Framework to an “Always Open Approach.” The updated framework adopts greater flexibility by enabling financial institutions, as well as local and international startups to apply anytime throughout the year, and bring more innovative business models to their clients, it said.
SAMA said this step is continued progress towards a number of ambitious strategic objectives including promoting and diversifying the financial services offered within the financial sector, boosting savings, payments, and investment activities. With these steps, the central bank wants to increase the level of financial inclusion and financial awareness among all community segments in accordance with the objectives of the Financial Sector Development Program of Saudi Vision 2030.