Saudi Arabia launches new real-time payments system with IBM and Mastercard
Saudi Payments, under the supervision of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), has launched the kingdom’s new instant payments system, “sarie”.
The deployment is in collaboration with both IBM and Mastercard. It is part of Saudi Payments’ plan to boost Saudi Arabia’s financial ecosystem.
Built on the ISO 20022 standard, sarie automatically supports all Saudi banks across the kingdom. Saudi Payments says the system is available for use by customers immediately.
It allows bank customers to send and receive money in real-time using a wide range of services and transfer options.
Customers of local banks can make instant transactions of up to SAR 20,000 ($5,300) through the system. SAR 2,500 ($660) can also be sent using mobile numbers, emails or ID numbers.
IBM Global Business Services (GBS), the services and consultancy arm of IBM, led the project as a system integrator. It designed and architected the solution, and integrated real-time payments technology provided by Mastercard.
“Sarie can enable us to drive usage and engagement across the Saudi payments ecosystem of banks and businesses,” says Saudi Payments managing director, Fahad Al-Akeel.
“It can help lay the foundation for new payments business initiatives, encouraging financial inclusion and banking reconciliation of Saudi banks.
“We welcome this momentous collaboration with IBM and Mastercard. It is a huge step forward that aligns with our ongoing smart solutions and payments modernisation strategy.”
Dina Abo-Onoq, managing partner for IBM GBS in Saudi Arabia, says banks “should be prepared to adapt to the changing and on-the-go customer needs”.
She adds: “This launch is another step towards the advancement of the payments and banking landscape in Saudi Arabia and the region.”
Sarie ties into Saudi Arabia’s Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to reduce the region’s dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors.
Related: Saudi Arabia’s central bank plans open banking go-live for 2022