During this week’s LEAP tech conference held in Riyadh, Checkout.com—a global payment solutions provider, released a new report tracking Saudi Arabia’s eCommerce boom as financial inclusion, innovation, and economic development remain cornerstones of the Saudi Vision 2030.
The report suggests that Saudi Arabia’s forward-looking regulatory framework for the fintech industry is opening the Kingdom up to international business like never before. It explains why 45% of Saudi consumers now believe the most important pillar to underpin Vision 2030 is further digitization of the Saudi economy, along with greater access to digital skills and education.
The rapid expansion of Saudi Arabia’s eCommerce market reflects these priorities. Every sector of the Saudi economy for business-to-consumer (B2C) goods and services saw increased digital spending in 2021. According to the report, it notes a particular increase in grocery, electronic goods, and clothing purchases. Nearly half (48%) of Saudis plan to spend even more on eCommerce in the next 12 months, with 40% citing the opportunity for cross-border shopping as a key reason why they now shop online. The method of payment is changing too. In 2021, 55% of KSA consumers said they have used BNPL (Buy-Now-Pay-Later) payment methods such as Tamara, with a further 27% saying they have not yet used BNPL but intend to do so during 2022.
“The introduction of Saudi Arabia’s eCommerce law in 2019 has significantly enhanced consumer confidence by offering protection against fraudulent operators, whilst safeguarding consumer data,” notes Reem Alharbi, General Manager for Saudi Arabia at Checkout.com. “Since then, the government has laid down various initiatives to expand the Kingdom’s potential as a regional eCommerce hub, with the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) continuously working to embrace new trends in the fintech space.”
One such aim is Saudi Arabia’s ambitious target to have a 70% cashless society by 2030. While the value proposition for digital payments was highlighted during the pandemic, the Checkout.com report examines how this target is being realized through continuous improvements in the Kingdom’s financial ecosystem, such as the adoption of faster payments, improvements to banking reconciliation, and more.
As one of the international keynote speakers at the LEAP conference, Checkout.com founder and CEO, Guillaume Pousaz, will be discussing cross-world transactions and growing business opportunities in the digital economy. Since 2019, Checkout.com has seen a 470% increase in its own transaction volumes in KSA—a testament to just how fast the Kingdom’s digital economy is expanding. The business, which has operated in the region for the past decade, has embraced the Vision 2030 of the market, is empowering local businesses to thrive in the digital economy, and is helping to upskill talent to enrich the Kingdom’s digital economy.
Checkout.com is the largest eCommerce payments provider in the MENA region, serving both domestic brands such as HungerStation, Almosafer, Nana, Extra, Jarir and global enterprises in KSA such as Shein, Careem, and Shahid as a trusted global payments partner. In 2021, it led Saudi Arabia’s largest financial technology fundraise to date, in the $110m Series A for popular buy-now-pay-later provider, Tamara.