RIYADH: Mada, the new identity of the Saudi Payment Network, is making great progress in the integration and use of Apple Pay, experts say.
Apple Pay was launched in the Kingdom in February, and the country is the first in the world to have its services provided through a national payment scheme.
Mada has made it easier for local banks to use Apple Pay by providing the necessary infrastructure, according to economist Talat Zaki Hafiz. “From the moment the service was launched, customer desire to use it has increased daily, and the service is supported by 92 percent of Point of Sale devices in retail outlets in the Kingdom,” he told Arab News.
“Undoubtedly the economic impact of using e-payment benefits the customer. Payment is quick and efficient, and it allows the customer to avoid carrying cash.
“The cost of printing money to any government varies from 1 to 3 percent of gross domestic product, so by moving to digital electronic payments, we will reduce costs. Moreover, the more we excel in the e-payment sector, the better for the Kingdom’s Vision 2030,” Hafiz said.
He added that the government was aiming to move from a cash-based society to a non-cash based society as part of Vision 2030, seeking to increase the percentage of e-payments from 18 percent of total transactions in 2016 to 28 percent by 2020, with the grand goal of 70 percent by 2030.
This will result in people having less cash in their pockets, which will help facilitate commerce, track money more easily, combat fraud, theft, corruption and loss, and be good for the environment.
Apple Pay is an e-payment system built using near-field communication techniques.