| 26 September, 2017

Saudi to fine shops refusing to accept credit cards

Image used for illustrative purpose. Saudi women shop at the Al-Hayatt mall in Riyadh.

Image used for illustrative purpose. Saudi women shop at the Al-Hayatt mall in Riyadh.

REUTERS/Fahad Shadeed
JEDDAH - The Ministry of Commerce and Investment will impose fines on shops which refuse to accept credit cards as a means of payment, according to Talaat Hafiz, secretary general of the committee on information and banking awareness of Saudi banks.

He said the ministry will also withdraw card swap machines from shops for breaching contracts to this effect signed with banks.

Hafiz said contracts signed between banks and shops may stipulate accepting all kinds of credit cards or only the Mada network cards.

He said fines will be imposed on all shops which display stickers indicating that credit cards are accepted but refuse to accept digital payment.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) said in its monthly statistical report that point-of-sale (POS) transactions increased by 15.91 percent during the second half of 2017 to reach 299,380 from 258,290 by the end of the first half of 2016.

Mada said selling operations increased by 31.65 percent to reach 177,360 million transactions compared to 134,720 million operations in 2016.

In 2015, there were more than 17,000 ATMs and 225,000 POS terminals connected to the network.

More than 1.1 billion financial transactions were routed through the network, with a total value of almost SR626.3 billion with an average monthly transactions value in excess of SR52 billion.

It is worth mentioning that 2015 witnessed an enormous growth in the number of installed POS terminals by over than 86,000.

Number of ATMs also grown by 17% in 2015 to reach 17,217 machine comparing with 2014 figure of 14,711.

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