RIYADH: All buy now, pay later businesses in Saudi Arabia must get a permit from the Saudi Central Bank or face legal action, the institution has announced. The document must be obtained before offering the deferred payment activity, the bank said in a statement.
Businesses need to apply for the permit by Dec. 4, or stop the practice on this date.
In the Gulf, BNPL companies present themselves as an alternative to cash on delivery, the most common payment method for online purchases in many Middle East countries, according to a 2018 report by British security firm G4S.
There is no independent data available on the Middle East buy now, pay later market which also includes Shahry in Egypt; all of the companies in the sector are early stage start-ups and many only began operating last year.
Digital buy now, pay later purchasing is relatively new to the region where consumers have traditionally been skeptical of paying for goods before getting them.