Saudi banks are wagering big on the future of digitisation. Data from the Saudi Central Bank revealed that, in the first three months of this year, 13 Saudi bank branches and 81 ATMs were shut from the further authentication of the maturing digitisation of the sector.
Saudi Banks Keen on Digital Future
The coronavirus pandemic influenced the banking and payment processing sectors along with the Financial Sector Development Program of Saudi Vision 2030. Moreover, it facilitated an uproar of digitisation in Saudi banks that strived to augment cashless transactions.
2022’s decline is the resonance of a past trend.
The statistical data from the central bank, also called SAMA, portray that the number of Saudi bank branches degenerated by 124 – 6% of the total – betwixt 2017 and 2021.
ATMs witnessed a 10% shrinkage over the same tenure.
On the contrary, Point of Sale transactions surged 15% in sales value in the Q1 of 2022 compared to the climax of 2021 (October, November, and December).
The value of sales by the utilisation of mobile phones was enhanced by 13.6% in the same tenure compared to a 3.6% maturity for cards.
eCommerce sales by using Mada cards were augmented by 22% in Q4 2022.
The quarter-on-quarter maturity resonates with the trend in the past four years, which has witnessed the total value of POS transactions and eCommerce maturity by 120% and 380%, respectively.
The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) sought to broaden the horizons of the financial industry by launching ‘Fintech Saudi’ in April 2018, which witnessed Saudi Arabia as a financial-technology hub in the coming years.
With the coronavirus pandemic declining, a fresh crop of financial-technology firms is touting the winds of change in the way businesses are run within the Saudi Arabian geography.
Right from enabling cashless payments to extending financial data analytics to delivering loans, these companies are coming with concise and bespoke substitutions within the conventional banking system of Saudi banks.
As per a Fintech Saudi report, fintech transaction values betwixt 2017 and 2019 jumped by more than 18% year-on-year, accomplishing more than USD 20 billion in 2019.
With a surging number of first-generation entrepreneurs contesting with large financial entities, the Fintech Saudi report indicated that the transaction worth will outdo the USD 33 billion thresholds by 2023.
Furthermore, the Fintech Saudi report unveiled that there was also sufficient evidence of growth, with the average investment deal magnitude at USD 2.7 million compared to the global average of USD 7.3 million.
What’s significant is a drastic change within the financial industry, which was governed by a multifaceted set of rules and regulations to guarantee financial safety. Fintech Saudi has confronted the problem by taking the mammoth by its tusks.
The monetary authority presently underpins these start-ups by steering them through the regulations and delivering a more straightforward way to procure an operating license from the Central Bank of Saudi Arabia.
The inference is that the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia witnessed a massive jump in venture capital investments in the fintech industry, accomplishing 16 deals in the first eight months of 2021, resulting in a total of USD 157.2 million. Last year, it observed a 37% surge in new-fangled fintech launches over 2020.