RIYADH — The Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), in cooperation with the financial sector, is currently studying the prospect of raising and determining the upper ceiling for inter-bank instant transfers.
The upper ceiling, which is expected to range between $16,000 and $21,333, will be implemented by the end of 2022, marking the second phase of the inter-bank instant transfer service.
It is noteworthy that SAMA had launched the first phase of the inter-bank instant money transfer system (sarie) on Feb. 20, 2021 and the new system helped financial entities, companies and individuals, to carry out inter-bank instant money transfers around the clock basis.
Ziad Alyousef, deputy governor of SAMA for development and technology, said that the old payment system that handles operations between 9 am and 5 pm will be dedicated to large financial operations between banks, while the inter-bank instant payment system, which was launched last year, will be meant for individuals and all kinds of companies around the clock.
Alyousef said that SAMA worked to strengthen the instant payments system, which was launched last year, to ensure its reliability and the safety of financial transactions. “We are studying with the financial sector the prospect of raising the ceiling of money transfers, and there has been no agreed-upon limit with the financial sector so far,” Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper reported quoting him as saying.
In response to a question about setting an increased ceiling from the current SR20,000, to an amount ranging between SR60000 and SR80000, Alyousef said: “There is no number to negotiate, and I cannot say precisely whether it is SR60000 or SR80000, but it may be within these limits,” he said.
SAMA attaches greater significance to the inter-bank instant payments system as it represents an added value and quality to the capabilities of the national payments infrastructure, in addition to being in line with the journey of development witnessed by the national payments sector in the Kingdom for more than 30 years.
It also comes within a series of initiatives, launched by the Central Bank, to upgrade the national payments system and develop its infrastructure to achieve financial inclusiveness.
According to SAMA sources, sarie services would allow the banking sector’s clients to send and receive low-value local transactions around the clock and for a nominal fee. Additionally, the system provides beneficiaries with other services and transfer options, including using the mobile number as an identifier instead of the IBAN for transactions between banks, and the ability to verify the validity of the recipient’s bank account before completing the transaction.”
Any financial transaction of less than SR 20,000 will be instantly credited to the recipient account by the sarie system. The system also offers the quick transfer service, which, upon activation by the account holder, allows the banking sector’s clients to send payments of amounts less than SR2,500 without adding and activating the beneficiary.
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