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Saudi Arabia aims for 70% cashless payments by end of 2025

The number of operational fintech firms has skyrocketed from just 10 in 2018 to an impressive 147 in 2022

Saudi Arabia aims for 70% cashless payments by end of 2025
[Source photo: Anvita Gupta/Fast Company Middle East]

In the MENAP region, the fintech sector experienced a surge, with investments in fintech startups skyrocketing from $200 million in 2020 to approximately $704 million by 2023.

This surge is particularly evident in Saudi Arabia, where the fintech sector has flourished, driven by Vision 2030 initiatives and a young population, leading to remarkable growth.

In response to this growth, the kingdom aims for a nearly cashless future, with a target of 70% of domestic payments to be digital by the end of 2025, as outlined by Philip Drury, Global Head of Technology and Communications Banking at CitiGroup.

This objective coincides with the kingdom’s fintech sector’s rapid growth, as Drury highlighted during the 3rd Saudi Capital Market Forum (SCMF). The number of operational fintech firms has surged from only 10 in 2018 to 147 in 2022, showing significant progress towards the objectives of Vision 2030.

Drury emphasized the rapid market evolution and positive regulatory advancements, urging businesses to adapt with agility to embrace these changes. He further underscored the sector’s growth, indicating the issuance of 30 digital and 3 digital banking licenses as concrete evidence.

Looking forward, Drury identified opportunities like an expanded market reach and increased inclusivity, leading to better customer experiences and a more comprehensive range of financial products and services, ultimately driving faster business growth.

He also emphasized the significance of collaboration between traditional banks and fintech companies for mutual success. The SCMF, held under the patronage of Finance Minister Mohammed Al Jadaan, centered on “Powering Growth” and boasted over 54 speakers and 69 sponsors.

According to Nayef Al Athel, Group Chief Sales and Marketing Officer at Saudi Tadawul Group Holding Company, the forum remained dedicated to promoting market diversification and bringing together varied perspectives.

The event also saw the introduction of Single Stock Options (SSOs) contracts on the Saudi National Bank (SNB), marking another stride in developing the kingdom’s financial markets.

The Innovation By Design Summit is in Doha on April 24. Attendance at the summit is by invitation only. Delegates can register here to receive their exclusive invite.

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