SIMAH hosts LEI ‘Meet the Market’ Forum

Updated 08 February 2018

SIMAH hosts LEI ‘Meet the Market’ Forum

Saudi Credit Bureau (SIMAH), the first licensed credit bureau in the Kingdom, hosted a Legal Entity Identifier (LEI) “Meet the Market” Forum recently, under the auspices of the vice governor of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), Saleh Al-Furaih.
LEI is a 20-digit, alpha-numeric code based on the ISO 17442 standard developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). It enables clear and unique identification of legal entities participating in financial transactions.
SIMAH’s forum came as part of the Annual International Meeting of the Legal Entity Identifier Regulatory Oversight Committee (LEI ROC) and the Global Legal Entity Identifier Foundation (GLEIF). The forum was attended by officials and representatives of banking and finance sectors, LEI ROC, GLIEF and other Local Operating Units (LOUs).
GLIEF officially accredited SIMAH last September to act as a full LOU. SIMAH Business launched its non-profit Moa’rif service to identify legally independent entities and companies. Moa’rif enables companies to comply with various reporting requirements, while at the same time enhancing transparency. It helps measure and monitor systemic cross-border payment transfer risk, enables regulators globally to more accurately obtain a view on risk to the financial system, helps individual firms more effectively measure and manage counter-party exposure through a common view of legal entities across the organization, and promotes coordination. Moa’rif has so far issued 191 identifiers.
GLIEF was established by the Financial Stability Forum (FSB) in June 2014 as a not-for-profit organization to support the implementation and use of LEIs, and is overseen by ROC LEI. ROC LEI is a group of 71 public authorities and 19 observers from more than 50 countries established in January 2013 to coordinate and oversee a worldwide framework of legal entity identification, the Global LEI System.
SIMAH Business is designed to provide credit information to all companies and institutions operating on the Saudi market, representing their financial solvency. This allows members to study the credit behaviors of its commercial clients and to assess credit risk in order to make sound decisions.

Saudi Payments helps society adapt to COVID-19

Updated 06 July 2020

Saudi Payments helps society adapt to COVID-19

Saudi Payments, a wholly owned subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), has successfully highlighted the importance of the concept of electronic payment and popularized its use in society during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Saudi Payments, which is also the operator of national payment systems, has standardized and organized online payments, enabling more than 23 million Mada card holders to access e-commerce platforms during curfew.

In line with the precautionary measures to combat COVID-19, SAMA, in cooperation with Saudi Payments and local banks, raised the limit of purchases through bankcards that use NFC technology (Mada Atheer) on point-of-sale (POS) devices from SR100 ($26) to SR300 per purchase, in order to avoid contact with contaminated surfaces.

As a result of these developments, the number of Mada online purchases increased to 20.8 million during the first quarter of this year, while the total number of Mada services for purchases via POS devices increased to 543 million during the same period. Moreover, the first quarter of this year witnessed an increase in the volume of Mada purchases through POS devices by about 67 percent, compared to the same period in 2019. The Mada online purchases witnessed an increase of 406 percent, compared to the first quarter of 2019.

The percentage of purchases through NFC technology constituted 79 percent of all POS purchases performed during the first quarter, with an increase of 263 percent, compared to the same period last year, while May 2020 recorded an increase in the total value of online purchases to reach SR3.7 billion, representing 18.1 million transactions. The total value of Mada POS purchases increased during the same month to reach SR23.4 billion, representing 159.4 million transactions. The total number of Mada cards used to pay online increased in May 2020 to reach 5.4 million.

April 2020 recorded a remarkable increase in the total value of sales via the internet reaching SR3 billion, constituting 12.7 million transactions. The total value of POS Mada purchases decreased as a result of the total curfew imposed during the same month to reach SR16.1 billion, representing 121.8 million transactions. The total number of Mada cards used to pay online during April of 2020 increased to 3.6 million.

The Cabinet in November 2019 approved SAMA’s request to establish the Saudi Payments Company, responsible for operations and the development of infrastructure of national payment systems. The company aims to ensure that all payments and financial transactions processed in the Kingdom are safe and secure.