First real-time payments launched in Saudi Arabia

International payment systems provider Vocalink has partnered with Saudi Payments to launch real-time payments in Saudi Arabia, reports Jane Connolly

Saudi Payments, a fully owned subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), has teamed up with Mastercard company Vocalink with the aim of upgrading the country’s payments infrastructure and boosting the digital economy.

The partnership will enable instant payments between financial institutions, businesses and consumers, with instant credit transfers, e-invoicing and billing, real-time payment acknowledgement, remittances, bulk payments and peer-to-peer money transfers.

Ziad Bin Bander Al-Yousef, managing director, Saudi Payments, states that transforming the Kingdom into a cashless society is at the heart of the company’s strategy and in line with the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

He adds: “We believe the Kingdom’s consumers and businesses will benefit tremendously from leveraging the power of real-time payments and help the Kingdom to a smooth transition to the digital economy.”

Built on the latest ISO messaging standards, the payment system will reach the majority of financial institutions and accounts, working with Saudi Payments’ third-party services, supporting anti-fraud and compliance processes.

Since launching in Thailand in 2017, Vocalink has seen its PromptPay service adopted by over half the population in just two years.