Saudi Arabia awards microfinance licence to Zain subsidiary

Saudi Arabia awards microfinance licence to Zain subsidiary

There’s been a boost for the relatively underpenetrated fintech services market in the Middle East with the award to operator Zain’s subsidiary Tamam of a Saudi microfinance licence.

Zain Group, which has operations in seven markets across the Middle East and North Africa, has announced that its Saudi Arabian fintech subsidiary Tamam Financing Company has been officially licensed by the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA) to provide microfinancing services to consumers across the kingdom.

Zain says that this makes Tamam the first entity in the kingdom and the region to be licensed by a regulator to offer consumer micro-loans via a fully digital customer experience through a mobile app. 

Zain explains that the platform allows individuals access to Shari'a-compliant consumer microfinance in as little as five minutes from downloading the app to receiving the financing amount based on the user credit profile.

The licensing follows the completion of an eighteen-month testing period during which the app and the service were vetted for functionality, security and compatibility with customer user profiles in Saudi Arabia.

The platform displayed high product viability and strong demand throughout testing and obtained PCI-DSS accreditation, which, Zain says, protects the security of the digital infrastructure and data.

Established in 2019, Tamam aims to increase financial inclusion in Saudi Arabia in line with the country’s Financial Sector Development Plan, which in turn forms part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030, a strategic framework designed to reduce the country’s dependence on oil, diversify its economy, and develop public service sectors such as health, education, infrastructure, recreation and tourism.

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