Skip to content

Saudi Arabia: Saudi Payment teams up with IBM and Mastercard to Launch "sarie"

Saudi Payments Launches Instant Payments System 'sarie' in Cooperation with IBM and Mastercard

Saudi Payments in collaboration with IBM and Mastercard have developed Saudi Arabia's instant payments system 'sarie'.  This information was made known via an announcement by Saudi Payments under the supervision of the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA).

The recent development is in line with Saudi Arabia's Financial Sector Development Program (FSDP) under Saudi Vision 2030, which aims to achieve 70% non-cash transactions by 2030. "Today, 'sarie' supports all Saudi banks across the Kingdom and is available for use by their customers". (IBM)

"The instant payments system 'sarie' can enable us to drive usage and engagement across the Saudi payments ecosystem of banks and businesses. It can help lay the foundation for new payments business initiatives, encouraging financial inclusion and banking reconciliation of Saudi banks. We welcome this momentous collaboration with IBM and Mastercard. It is a huge step forward that aligns with our ongoing smart solutions and payments modernization strategy, aimed towards achieving the assigned goals in vision 2030." Saudi Payments Managing Director Fahad Al-Akeel.

With 'sarie' bank customers can send and receive money in real-time using a wider range of services and transfer options. Customers of local banks can make instant transactions of up to SAR 20,000 (USD 5,300) through the system. Further, users of this technology can benefit from the quick transfer service to send up to SAR 2,500 (USD 660) using aliases, such as mobile number, email address, ID number, or IBAN number.

"This is a significant milestone in our real-time payments journey and is the result of hard work. Saudi Arabia is an important market for Mastercard, and we anticipate that with this real-time payment system going live in the MEA region, many doors may soon open for ongoing innovation, both in the Kingdom and further afield. The initiative can significantly contribute towards digitizing and modernizing transactions in line with the goals of Vision 2030, and can also help increase the efficiency of the financial systems and offer consumers access to a wider range of financial services, positively impacting the Saudi economy and its citizens." Maria Medvedeva, Vice President and Country Business Development Lead, Saudi Arabia, Mastercard.

Speaking on the partnership, Dina Abo-Onoq, Managing Partner, IBM GBS, Saudi Arabia, pointed out that for banks and financial institutions to remain current, they should be ready to adapt to the changing, and on-the-go customer needs using the latest innovations.

"This launch is another step in advancing the payments and banking landscape in Saudi Arabia and the region. The new payments solution is designed to provide the citizens and residents of Saudi Arabia with Mastercard's real-time capabilities and help promote financial innovation."Dina Abo-Onoq, Managing Partner, IBM GBS, Saudi Arabia.

According to IBM, Saudi Payments has successfully rolled out 'sarie' across all banks operating locally, using the most advanced technology built on the latest ISO 20022 messaging standards.

The system is expected to support local government, business, and consumer payment needs across various payment flows, creating a more convenient and accelerated economic activity across the Kingdom.