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Sunday, Mar 03, 2024

Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale and e-commerce payments reach $206bn in 2023

Saudi Arabia’s point-of-sale and e-commerce payments reach $206bn in 2023

In 2023, Saudi Arabia's digital payment transactions through point-of-sale (POS) and e-commerce hit $206 billion, a 13% surge from the previous year.
The Central Bank of Saudi Arabia (SAMA) reported that this excludes payments via Visa, Mastercard, and other credit cards and reflects the nation's increasing reliance on technology in commerce.

E-commerce sales spiked by 28% to $42 billion, with 43% more transactions, while POS transactions also grew by 9.8% to $164 billion. According to, Saudi Arabia is becoming a hotspot for e-commerce, supported by a tech-savvy population of 36 million and government initiatives under Vision 2030.

E-commerce is being driven by high internet usage, affluent consumers, and a shift from cash on delivery to online payments. A noticeable digital trend is seen in bank branch closures, with 26 shutting down in 2023, mainly in Makkah and the Eastern Province, along with 297 ATM closures. Meanwhile, 5.2 million new cards were issued, indicating a move away from traditional banking.

Cash withdrawals decreased, further underscoring this digital shift. Food, beverages, and restaurants lead in POS spending, with utilities growing the fastest by almost 29% to $1.5 billion. The nation's Digital Government Authority is accelerating this trend, focusing on enhancing public service access through technology.

Hotels saw a 19% increase in spending, while transportation and education also showed significant growth. Riyadh accounted for 33% of transactions, experiencing notable growth in POS sales and terminals, which aligns with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's vision of attracting foreign businesses and investments to the city.

Riyadh, set to host the 2030 World Expo, and Makkah, leveraging a $667 million investment in hospitality, are key cities experiencing economic boosts from social liberalization and strategic development investments.

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