The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA) has allowed the extension of working hours for money transfer centers, affiliated to banks and for banks per se. Authority has also permitted them to work throughout the week, including on Fridays and Saturdays, starting 7:00 A.M. until 5:30 P.M., according to each bank’s assessment, provided the branches’ working hours are not less than the hours specified in SAMA’s directives.
SAMA stressed the need for money transfer centers to comply with a number of controls. These include implementing the mandatory precautionary and preventative measures set by the Ministry of Health on workers attending at their workplaces, according to the guidelines for preventative measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 within workplaces, issued by the Ministry of Health.
* SAMA requires work to continue on developing electronic channels, especially smart phone applications, to facilitate for the customer to avail of all services related to electronic money transfer, including adding beneficiaries.
* It is compulsory for remittance centers to intensify awareness campaigns urging customers to use such channels when carrying out transfers, by using various means and in different languages, the Authority said.
* Authority stressed the necessity to continue intensifying the presence of security guards at the center’s branches to ensure proper organizing of queues of clients waiting inside and outside the branches.
* The security guards must ensure compliance with the mandatory social distancing and spacing between clients, in line with the preventative and precautionary measures issued in this regard. In addition, banks must ensure the continued expansion in setting up mobile branches for money transfer centers to serve companies at their locations.
* The banks should continue to implement the exemption from electronic banking services fees, which include exemption from transfer fees via electronic channels, such as self-service devices (kiosks), automated teller machines (ATMs) and smart phone applications.
* The levying transfer fees for locations outside the Kingdom via conventional channels (bank branches or money transfer centers) at a minimum of SR25, while abiding by the commitment not to exceed the maximum fees stated in the bank tariff.
* They should allow memberships to be opened at remote transfer centers, with the requirement to verify the identity of the customer by using documents, data or information from a reliable and independent source.
Source: Saudi Gazette