The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has announced its intention to establish itself as a center of financial technology during the MEFTECH conference, reported Arab News. Ahmed Alkholifey, KSA’s Monetary Authority governor, said that the Kingdom is formulating a strategy to become a hub for fintech innovation, which is incorporated in Saudi Vision 2030.
During the two-day conference, which gathered trailblazers in digital payments, machine learning, and blockchain, Alkholifey said that the KSA seeks to enhance its finance and development sector by stimulating related industries. He added that “the Kingdom spares no effort in working to provide a suitable environment that motivates success, supported by local and international partners.”
The central bank head also emphasized the priority given to digitization, especially financial services. Moreover, the KSA is training its focus on the advancing digital transformation sector in order to keep with the financial sector development program (FSDP).
The FSDP is part of the Saudi Vision 2030. According to the Financial Sector Development Program Charter Delivery Plan 2020, the program can assist in achieving the 2030 vision in three ways. It seeks to guarantee the creation of an advanced capital market, allow financial institutions to help in the growth of the private sector and promote financial planning such as retirement and savings.
Based on the figures reported by Arab News, the plan is already showing some impact. The KSA saw a spike in e-payment transactions in 2019. In fact, digital transactions increase to 36.2%, already encompassing the Saudi Vision 2030 goal of 28%.
Moreover, the amount of digital payments has reached a record-breaking level. It wet over SR287 billion, which shows a 24% increase from 2018 figures. The number of transactions through near-field communication tech has also surged to 918.5 million, showing a 400% growth.