Saudi Arabia’s major payment system, Saudi Payments is launching the country’s instant payment service ‘Sarie’ by partnering with the US-based multinational technology company, International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) and leading global payments service provider, Mastercard.
The partnership is part of Saudi Payments’ aim to improve the country’s financial ecosystem, mainly through the adoption of faster payments and improvements to banking reconciliation.
The introduction of ‘Sarie’ is in line with Saudi Arabia’s Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) part of Saudi Vision 2030, which targets achieving 70 percent non-cash transactions by 2030.
The new payment service allows bank customers to send and receive money in real-time through wide a range of services and transfer options. Customers of local banks can make instant transactions of up to $5,300 through the system. Further, users can benefit from the service to send up to $660 using a mobile number, email address, ID number, or IBAN number.
“The instant payments system ‘Sarie’ can enable us to drive usage and engagement across the Saudi Payments ecosystem of banks and businesses. It can help lay the foundation for new payments business initiatives, encouraging financial inclusion and banking reconciliation of Saudi banks. It is a huge step forward that aligns with our ongoing smart solutions and payments modernization strategy, aimed towards achieving the assigned goals in vision 2030.”
Maria Medvedeva, Vice President and Country Business Development Lead of Mastercard at Saudi Arabia, said, “Saudi Arabia is an important market for Mastercard, and we anticipate that with this real-time payment system going live in the MEA region, many doors may soon open for ongoing innovation, both in the Kingdom and beyond. The initiative can significantly contribute towards digitizing and modernizing transactions in line with the goals of Vision 2030.”
Saudi Payments selected IBM Global Business Services (GBS), the services and consultancy wing of IBM, to lead the project as the System Integrator (SI) partner and a leading end-to-end digital payments solutions provider.
IBM GBS designed the solution through its complex system integration methodology and combined Mastercard’s instant payments service into Saudi Payments’ existing infrastructure while connecting it to the IT systems of locally operating banks.
Dina Abo-Onoq, Managing Partner of IBM GBS, Saudi Arabia, said, “This launch is another step towards the advancement of the payments and banking landscape in Saudi Arabia and the region. The new payments solution is designed to provide the citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia with Mastercard’s real-time capabilities and help promote financial innovation.”
Saudi Payments rolled out ‘Sarie’ across all banks operating locally, intending to support local government, business, and consumer payment needs across various payment flows, creating a more convenient and accelerated economic activity across the Kingdom.