In 2018, Saudi Arabia’s central bank SAMA introduced a regulatory sandbox where fintech firms can test and launch innovative products and services. Since then, SAMA has granted licenses to payment services such as BNPL leaders Tabby and Tamara in the kingdom. It has also been pitched as an important part of Saudi Arabia’s 2030 vision, which seeks to strengthen the economy and investments.
The vision will be achieved by allowing fintech firms to do business easily and increasing the private sector’s contribution to the economy. To develop the digital economy, the kingdom will attract more foreign investment and support entrepreneurship as well as innovation for the growth of SMEs. Saudi Arabia’s Minister of Finance Mohammed Al-Jadaan said that fintech innovation would boost retail, healthcare, real estate, and transportation sectors.
Saudi Arabia was ranked 36th among 63 countries on the global digital competitive index for 2021. The kingdom has also launched a Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) chaired by Al Jadaan to diversify sources of income for the economy and foster savings and investments in the country.