By Mohammed Waseem
We have discussed bill payment services, predominantly of the US market, so lets now see services available in other parts of the world as well. In this article, I will talk about the electonic bill payment service available in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The service is called SADAD and was established by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA), with an aim to streamline bill payment process in the Kingdom.
SADAD was launched to facilitate Electronic Bill Presentment and Payment (EBPP) through the banks in the Kingdom. It was launched in the year 2004. The banks through which customers can make payments include Al Rajhi Bank, National Commercial Bank (NCB), Saudi Investment Bank, Saudi Arabian British Bank (SABB), Samba Financial Group, Arab National Bank and Saudi Holland Bank to name a few.
Payment can be made to almost all utilities. The list of supported billers can be accessed here. All the banks’ channels can be used to make payments, including branches, ATM, SMS, Online Banking, Phone Banking and Mobile Banking with some banks.
The process involves billers sending bill information to SADAD at a predetermined schedule, which is then validated and uploaded into the system. In case of a discrepancy, the biller is informed and asked to make the required change. Customers then request bills from the banks’ channels and when they are fetched a customer selects a bill and pays it. The customer’s bank account is then debited and confirmation is sent to SADAD, after which, the database at SADAD is updated. At the end of the day, they settle the transactions through Saudi Arabian Riyal Interbank Express (SARIE) and a report is sent to each biller mentioning the transaction details.
It is very convenient to be able to pay bills from all the channels of almost all banks in the Kingdom for almost all utilities across the country. This service can be accessed by everyone residing in the country.