Virgin Mobile develops Saudi banking app

Telecom provider Virgin Mobile has signed an agreement with the Saudi Investment Bank (SAIB) to become the first entity in the Kingdom to obtain a banking agent’s license.

The strategic partnership, endorsed by the Saudi Arabian Central Bank, will enable the telecom provider’s customers to use financial services on their phones.

Erik Dudman Nielsen, Group CEO of Virgin Mobile Middle East & Africa, told Arab News the announcement of the new milestone made him proud.

Nielsen said that the services would be made available to everyone, regardless of which banks they had accounts in or which telecom providers they used.

  • Phase one, which the company aims to kickstart in February, will allow customers to use the application to link their bank accounts and cards to their phone, allowing them to carry out international transfers.
  • Phase two will be to enable domestic usage, allowing users to pay for items in stores, restaurants and cafes using only their phones.

The Virgin Mobile announcement came after the news last week that digital payment transactions in the Kingdom jumped by 75 percent in 2020 as Saudi consumers embraced online shopping during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, while cash withdrawals from ATMs and other payment points fell 30 percent over the same period.

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