SAUDI ARABIA

Saudi Arabia launches prepaid salary cards for domestic workers


Reuters Images/Amr Dalsh
Saudi ministry has given a six-month deadline to all employers to issue these cards to domestic workers under their sponsorship.
PHOTO

RIYADH — Domestic workers (housemaids, drivers etc.) will now get prepaid payroll or salary cards to protect their wages and ensure that they get their salaries on time.

The Ministry of Labor and Social Development (MLSD) started this scheme from Saturday. It has given a six-month deadline to all employers to issue these cards to domestic workers under their sponsorship.

These prepaid cards, which facilitate the monthly salary transfer for domestic workers electronically, ensure timely payment if wages, ministry’s spokesman Khaled Aba Al-Khail was quoted as saying by Al-Eqtisadiah Arabic newspaper.

He said employers should provide prepaid salary cards to domestic workers the moment they arrive in the Kingdom.

Many banks are already offering prepaid card services to their customers.

“Household Payroll Card allows sponsors to process the payment of salaries and incentives to their household workers electronically with ease, safety, and comfort,” the Saudi Investment Bank website says.

The household salary card product supports the required banking services in an easy and efficient way which will protect sponsors domestic workers in their cash transactions and guarantee an easy channel for their payments, says the Saudi British Bank.

The debit-card like option empowers household workers to handle their cash in a safe and secure manner with multiple access options and peace of mind.

Prepaid payroll cards give domestic workers the flexibility to conveniently withdraw monthly salary through ATMs and pay for all their shopping at POS with ease through the Mada network.

The card is acceptable within the Kingdom only and it accepts deposits only from the sponsor.

There is no fee for transferring salary from the sponsor account to the Mada household payroll card.

To get a prepaid payroll card, the sponsor must have an account with a bank, fill up a form, sign an agreement with the bank, and show the original ID of the worker to the bank.


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