A QR-based National Payment System for Saudi Arabia

A QR-based National Payment System for Saudi Arabia

by 9. March 2020

To enhance the electronic payment throughout Saudi Arabia and reduce the dependence on cash, High-tech Payment Systems (HPS) has been appointed by Saudi Payments, a fully owned subsidiary of Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA), to provide a unified QR code platform to enable banks, wallet providers and Fintechs to interact seamlessly within an interoperable platform. This step is based on the joint partnership between the two parties, and it aims to support the continuous development of the electronic payment environment in the Kingdom.

The introduction of QR codes will be an important step towards providing a universally consistent experience for both merchants and consumers, while also ensuring inter-operability and acceptance of secure payments. The goal is to develop an integrated payment environment, and that allows all parties to benefit in an open-loop payment environment based on the latest messaging standards – ISO 20022. It means merchants, individual customers, and service providers will be linked together to complete payment using the same code regardless of the service provider or scheme.

The QR Code enables a merchant to present a request for payment to a consumer, who can then verify and make a payment, or reject the request. Multiple payment types are supported, information can both be fixed in a static QR code and used for multiple transactions, or a dynamic QR Code can be used for individual transactions.

The development of a national QR code payment system is in line with the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) initiatives on digital transformation, entrepreneurship support, and financial technology development, aimed at meeting the aspirations of Vision 2030 and a cashless society.

Featured image credit: Unsplash

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