Saudi ministry allows deposit of wages in e-wallets

Madad will issue payroll cards in the near future for Saudi and foreign employees, who are not required to open personal current bank accounts

Image of Saudi riyal used for illustrative purpose.

Image of Saudi riyal used for illustrative purpose.

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RIYADH — The Ministry of Human Resources and Social Development has allowed small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to deposit salaries of their workers in e-wallets instead of bank accounts.

Speaking to Okaz/Saudi Gazette, well informed sources at the ministry said that it is sufficient for SMEs to register in the ministry-approved Madad platform and deposit salaries of those not registered in the wage protection program because of not having their own personal current bank accounts.

The sources confirmed that depositing salaries with Madad will be considered sufficient proof of salaries being paid. The platform has currently signed agreements with some banks and an electronic wallet belonging to a telecommunications company. It will allow workers’ salaries to be deposited in one of the e-wallets. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) raised the maximum limit for feeding electronic wallets to SR20,000 in March, with the aim of reducing cash transactions.

The Madad platform has been assigned to provide data about employees and establishments from the system of the General Organization for Social Insurance (GOSI), updating and reviewing employees’ salary data, proactively detecting violations of the Wage Protection System (WPS), automatic linking between banks and WPS, following up on the status of salaries, make the request for issuance of the digital wallet automatically, providing reports and statistics, and exploring the possibility of paying salaries more than once in a month.

The value of salary transfer through the platform is SR3. Madad will issue payroll cards in the near future for Saudi and foreign employees, who are not required to open personal current bank accounts. The fee for registration and utilization of the platform services amount to SR460 per year for small establishments with nine workers or less.

The ministry indicated that starting December the establishments with one to four workers have to deposit salaries in workers’ bank accounts by registering in the Wage Protection Program. There are 374,830 small establishments with four or less workers in the Kingdom, according to the GOSI data in the second quarter of 2020.

The ministry implemented 16th phase of WPS for small establishments with workers between 5 and 10 from Aug. 1. The system aims to provide an appropriate and safe work environment for workers in private sector, raise the level of transparency and preserve the rights of the contracting parties —employees and employers. It also ensures that private sector employees are correctly paid as per the agreed terms in the contract and to track the salaries of Saudis and expatriates. The ministry stressed the need for all establishments to stick to the wage protection program, and to upload the wage file monthly in order to avoid any adverse action.

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