HPS to provide QR-based payments system in Saudi Arabia
Payments technology and services firm HPS has been appointed by the Saudi Arabia Monetary Authority (SAMA) to provide a QR-based payment system.
HPS has been tasked by Saudi Payments, a subsidiary of SAMA, with the provisioning of a unified QR code platform to enable banks, wallet providers and fintechs to interact “seamlessly” within an interoperable platform.
The initiative is based on the joint partnership between the two parties and aims to support “the continuous development of the electronic payments environment” in Saudi Arabia.
According to HPS, the introduction of QR codes will be “an important step towards providing a universally consistent experience” for both merchants and consumers in the country.
The final goal is to create “an integrated payment environment that allows all parties to benefit in an open-loop payment environment” based on Swift’s ISO 20022.
QR code usage is seeing an uptick in the Middle East and Africa, rising from 12% penetration to 18% between 2017 and 2018.
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The HPS system will enable a merchant to present a request for payment to a consumer, who can then verify and make a payment, or reject the request.
Multiple payment types will be supported by the new system, while information can both be fixed in a static QR code and used for multiple transactions, or a dynamic QR Code can be used for individual transactions.
Saudi Arabia made the development of its financial services industry a prioritised part of the country’s “Vision 2030” project.
The “Financial Sector Development Vision Realisation Program” aims to develop “a diversified and effective” financial sector to support the development of the national economy, diversify its sources of income, and stimulate savings, finance and investment.