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Electronic retail payments rise to 70% in Saudi Arabia

2BF61E1 Young Arab woman using laptop for online shopping at home Leonid Iastremskyi/Alamy via Reuters
Electronic payments are rising as about 90% of Saudi consumers now shop via e-commerce and 14% spend money online at least once a day
  • Electronic payments up from 62%
  • E-commerce to exceed $13.2bn by 2025
  • About 90% of Saudis now shop online

The Saudi central bank said this week that the share of electronic payments in the retail sector rose to 70 percent in 2023 from 62 percent the year before, as the government tries to boost online banking and the fintech sector. 

A total 10.8 billion transactions were processed in 2023 compared to 8.7 billion transactions in 2022, the Saudi Press Agency reported, citing the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency. 

The e-commerce sector is expected to exceed $13.2 billion by 2025 after a 60 percent surge in online shopping in 2019-20.



Checkout.com says 91 percent of Saudi consumers now shop via e-commerce and 14 percent spend money online at least once a day.

Amazon Saudi doubled its storage capacity in 2023 with the launch of a 2.7 million cubic foot fulfilment centre in Riyadh that can house more than 9 million products.

The central bank says the number of fintech businesses has risen from 51 in 2021, to 89 in 2022, to more than 200 in August 2023.

The bank’s 2022 fintech report said total revenue generated by fintechs in 2022 was SR2.8 billion (over $746 million), up from SR2 billion in 2021. 

Foodics, the cloud-based restaurant management and payment business, is set to be the first Saudi fintech to list on the Saudi stock exchange in an IPO planned for this year.

The government has offered $888 million in support for the tech startups and venture capital covering digital payments, e-gaming and artificial intelligence.

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