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Digital payments exceed cash for first time in Saudi Arabia with 94% transaction value 

RIYADH: Electronic payments exceeded the use of cash for the first time in Saudi Arabia in 2021, with these transactions representing 94 percent of all payments when measured by value, a study conducted by the Saudi Central Bank revealed.

In terms of volume, the use of electronic payments increased to 62 percent last year from 44 percent in 2019 across all areas of economic activities.

The Saudi government sector has almost completely converted to electronic payment methods for all outward payments to individuals, business establishments or other government agencies, the report noted. 

The study indicated that cash is no longer the most used method of payment by individuals for the first time in the Kingdom. This comes as electronic payments of individuals have grown significantly to reach 57 percent in 2021 of the total number of transactions executed, compared to just 36 percent in 2019, the report added.

When it comes to the business sector, the share of electronic payments reached a substantial 84 percent of all business payments in 2021, up from 51 percent in 2019, recording a growth of 65 percent over the two years.

In line with Saudi Vision 2030, this comes as part of the government’s efforts to promote digital payment solutions to transform the Kingdom into a less-cash society by reaching 70 percent of non-cash payments by 2025.

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