Saudi Arabia Grants Digital Banking License to Two Firms

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Saudi Arabia granted digital banking license to two firms as the use of finance technology spreads in the Middle East.

STC Pay, launched by the kingdom’s biggest mobile operator Saudi Telecom in 2018, will be converted into a digital bank with a capital of 2.5 billion riyals ($667 million), according to a central bank statement. It will be called STC Bank.

A second firm, led by Abdul Rahman bin Saad Al-Rashed & Sons Co., will form a digital bank with a capital of 1.5 billion riyals. It will be called Saudi Digital Bank.

Saudi Telecom said Wednesday it will inject additional 802 million riyals to retain its 85% in STC Pay and Western Union will invest 750 million riyals to own 15% of the firm. Western Union acquired the stake in STC Pay last year for $200 million.

The central bank also said:

  • Licensed 16 Saudi FinTech companies in the recent past to provide payment services, consumer micro-finance and digital insurance brokerage
  • There are 32 FinTech companies operating under the Regulatory Sandbox environment, which was designed for testing innovative services and products
  • Link to statement

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