New Saudi Payments Company expected to enhance e-transactions 

Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. (Shutterstock)
Updated 10 November 2019

New Saudi Payments Company expected to enhance e-transactions 

  • Talat Zaki Hafiz said the approval came in line with SAMA’s strategy to transform the Kingdom into a cashless society

JEDDAH: The Cabinet on Nov. 5 approved the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) request to establish the Saudi Payments Company, concerned about national payment systems. The company will be responsible for operations and the development of infrastructure of national payment systems.
Talat Zaki Hafiz, the secretary-general of the media and banking awareness committee of Saudi Banks, said the approval came in line with SAMA’s strategy to transform the Kingdom into a cashless society.
He explained that one of the main objectives of the Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) was to raise the level of electronic financial transactions from the base year 2016 from 18 percent to 28 percent by 2020.

BACKGROUND

• The first attempt to encourage e-transaction was in 1990, when SAMA established the Saudi Payment Network (SPAN). This was followed in 1997 by announcing the Saudi Arabian Riyal Interbank Express Electronic System (SARIE). 

• In 2004 the SADAD payment system was launched, while MADA, the advanced version of SPAN, was introduced in 2015 and invoicing system Esal was established in 2018. 

• In 2019 the General Department of Payment Systems and SADAD merged to become the Saudi Payments Company.

This company, he added, will be the backbone of the different infrastructure electronic payment systems, ensuring that all payments and financial transactions processed will be safe and secure.
Hafiz also said that establishing such a company would enable the national payment system to provide safe and reliable basic services to achieve compatibility by providing common infrastructure to ensure competitiveness among payment service providers in line with the objectives of the FSDP, one of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 programs.


Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

Updated 17 November 2019

Arabic anime voice actors prepare for new show at Riyadh expo

  • Waheed Jalal's voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations

RIYADH: Visitors to Riyadh’s first anime expo stopped by the first panel on Saturday unaware that they would be leaving the stage with memories renewed of their favorite voice actors of all time.

Waheed Jalal and Jihad Al-Atrashi will forever live on in the hearts of fans of “Grendizer” and “Treasure Island (Takarajima),” the two shows that introduced the Arab world to anime in the 1970s.

Jalal, whose voice acting as “Treasure Island” antagonist John Silver has captivated generations, expressed how delighted he was to be with the audience.

“I want to thank you and your Kingdom of generosity and culture,” he said.

Al-Atrash, who portrayed Duke Fleed, echoed his sentiments: “You are great people with great values, thank you to the people of the Kingdom that stand next to people of all nations.”

Jalal was touched by the audience’s love and warm welcome, “You guys are the reason we continued this far, without you it wouldn’t have been possible,” he told them.

“We’re persevering to this day because people loved these characters we portrayed so much, our other works pale in comparison,” he added.

Jalal said that the reason “Grendizer” remained with so many people is because of the values and morals depicted in the show, teaching generations to be loyal and loving to their nation and their people.

Artist and creator Ibrahim Al-Lami. (AN photo by Huda Bashatah)

The voice acting pair talked about the importance of speaking in formal Arabic in these shows. Jalal said it’s because “you’re presenting to the entire Arab world.”

Local dialects would be difficult for others to understand, so we must all aspire to perfect our formal Arabic, added Jalal.

Before concluding the talk, a teaser was played of the first Saudi anime “Makkeen” by artist and creator, Ibrahim Al-Lami, who announced that 60 percent of the work was completed through local efforts.

“We’ll introduce a new work that is by our people, written by our people and voiced by our people,” he said to the audience.

The work will feature characters voiced by Jalal and Al-Atrash, who have become symbolic to the Arab anime world. “I told them, this work wouldn’t be complete without you two,” said Lami on his choice of voice actors. “We want these works to see the light of day. We need to provide the new generations with tales of our own,” added Al-Atrash when asked why he wanted to partake in the anime.