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Hind Al Soulia - Riyadh - Saudi Gazette report
RIYADH — Ziyad Al-Essa, vice president for business sector at the Saudi Payments, has said that electronic commerce in the Kingdom posted a record growth of 74 percent during the months of March and April this year.
At the same time, the direct retail trade dropped by 30 percent during the same period and this was attributed to the heavy reliance of consumers on e-commerce due to the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Saudi Payments, which is wholly owned by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA).
Addressing a webinar on “Seamless Saudi Arabia” that aimed at highlighting the most important developments and challenges in the field of electronic payments in the Middle East, Al-Essa said that it was natural for the growth in retail trade to shrink during the precautionary measures taken to stem the spread of coronavirus pandemic.
“The retail sector would return to normal growth after the relaxation of lockdown measures, bringing the growth rate to 38 percent during the month of June compared to the previous month of May,” he said noting that it is slowly returning to the normal rate, while there is a strong growth in e-commerce.
“We are in the process of launching a series of major initiatives that will stimulate e-transactions, the most important of which is the Instant Payment System, which would accelerate the process of transforming Saudi society into a cashless one. This is part of our commitment to implement the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030 as well as the goals of the Financial Sector Program.
We will launch the first pilot version of this project with a number of our partners from local banks by the end of this year, and we aim to launch it in its final form in the first quarter of 2021,” he added.
Several experts and decision-makers in the field of digital payments and e-commerce attended the webinar, which was sponsored by Saudi Payments, represented by Mada and SADAD.
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