UAE's Finablr expands operations in Saudi Arabia

Its network brand BayanPay secures licence to deliver payment services in Gulf state

A customer exchanges money at a currency exchange center in Dubai. Image used for illustrative purpose.

A customer exchanges money at a currency exchange center in Dubai. Image used for illustrative purpose.

REUTERS/Ahmed Jadallah

UAE-based payments and foreign exchange holding firm Finablr, which listed on the London Stock Exchange last year, is  expanding its operations in Saudi Arabia.

The firm’s network brand BayanPay has been granted a licence by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) to process transactions and provide digital wallets e-commerce payments gateway solutions for customers in Saudi Arabia.

“BayanPay was awarded the licence after successfully graduating from SAMA's regulatory sandbox, subject to meeting the stringent guidelines and safeguards established by SAMA,” Finablr spokesperson told Zawya.

Finablr first entered the Saudi market after it acquired amajority stake in the Saudi-based digital payment solutions provider in 2019.

Finablr spokesperson noted that Saudi Arabia is the largest economy in the GCC and the world’s second-largest remittance outflow market.

“SAMA’s estimates indicate that non-cash payments for the retail sector amounted to more than 36 percent of all payments in Saudi Arabia as of July 2019, with a goal to increase this to 70 percent by 2030 under Vision 2030’s Financial Sector Development Program. This provides considerable opportunities for Finablr,” the spokesperson added.

As for whether Finablr is looking at additional acquisitions in Saudi Arabia, the spokesperson said: “As part of its strategy, Finablr continues to pursue strategic bolt-on acquisitions that enhance its capabilities and complement its portfolio of services. We do not comment on specific markets or service lines from an M&A perspective.”

Shares in Finablr plunged earlier this year after it disclosed that its majority owner BR Shetty had pledged more than half of the company’s stock as security against debts. Another one of Shetty’s firms, NMC Health, has been hit by U.S. short-selling firm Muddy Waters.

Finablr offers a global platform for payments and foreign exchange solutions spanning over 170 countries and its category of brands include UAE Exchange, Travelex, Xpress Money and Remit2India, among others.

(Reporting by Nada Al Rifai; Editing by Cleofe Maceda)



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© ZAWYA 2020

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