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Saudi Arabia: SAMA Grants License to Digital Wallet Solution Provider, Unveils Other Significant Updates

Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) has granted a license to “Alhulul AlMubassatah Financial Company (SiFi)” to offer E-wallet solutions, bringing the total number of licensed payment service providers in Saudi Arabia to 25. Additionally, seven companies have received initial approval to operate within SAMA’s regulatory sandbox.

This move by SAMA demonstrates its commitment to supporting the payments sector and promoting innovative financial solutions for increased efficiency and financial inclusion in Saudi Arabia. The central bank also emphasizes the significance of only working with authorized financial institutions.

In another development, SAMA is seeking public consultation on the draft Implementing Regulation of the Systemically Important Financial Institutions Law. Stakeholders and the public are invited to provide their suggestions and observations through the Public Consultation Platform at the National Competitiveness Center. The implementing regulation will assist SAMA in fulfilling its mandate to maintain monetary stability, support financial stability, and drive economic growth.

The draft implementing regulations are available on the Public Consultation Platform for a period of 30 days from the announcement. This initiative by SAMA highlights its commitment to transparency and engaging stakeholders in the policymaking process.

Separately, H.E. Ayman Al-Sayari, Governor of SAMA and Chairman of the Islamic Financial Services Board’s Council, discussed the growth of the global Islamic finance sector at the IFSB 20th Anniversary Symposium. He mentioned that the sector’s assets have reached over SAR 11.2 trillion, with an average growth rate of 9.6% in the past three years.

Al-Sayari also highlighted Saudi Arabia’s prominent role in Islamic finance, with the largest Islamic Finance market globally and total Islamic assets exceeding SAR 3.1 trillion. The country’s Islamic banking sector alone accounts for 33% of global Islamic bank assets. Moreover, Saudi Arabia is the largest sovereign sukuk issuer and its cooperative insurance sector is experiencing rapid growth.

The IFSB’s annual meetings, hosted by SAMA, took place in Riyadh this year to address developments in the Islamic finance sector and enhance the resiliency and stability of the Islamic Financial Services Industry (IFSI). H.E. Al-Sayari expressed appreciation for the contributors who have supported the IFSB’s objectives over the past two decades and affirmed SAMA’s commitment to supporting the development of a resilient Islamic finance market.

The meetings included various events and dialogue sessions, bringing together industry experts and decision-makers to discuss the historical development of the Islamic financial industry and its role in economic development. The importance of international cooperation in developing the sector was emphasized. The board members also examined the IFSB’s report and discussed the outlook amid the challenging global financial conditions. They stressed the need to evaluate the soundness, resilience, and interlinkages of sectors within the industry, including Islamic banking, capital markets, and Islamic insurance.

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