E-commerce in Saudi Arabia has witnessed strong growth over the past two years, supported by the government’s trend towards expansion in the electronic payments sector and digital transformation, within the Financial Sector Development Program – one of the programs of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030. E-commerce sales through “mada” cards reached a record level at 74.32 billion riyals, with a growth of 91.5% over last year, which amounted to 38.8 billion riyals, an increase of 35.5 billion riyals.
The operations executed during 2021 amounted to about 347 million operations, compared to about 170.3 million operations in 2020, with a growth exceeding 100%, which reflects the volume of consumer demand.
Compared to 2019 before the pandemic, e-commerce sales amounted to 10.25 billion riyals, through the implementation of 38.1 million transactions, and thus the volume of sales in 2021 grew by about 6.2 times than it was in 2019.
The Saudi Central Bank indicated that the share of electronic payments in the retail sector “individuals” amounted to 57% for the year 2021, out of the total available payment transactions, including cash, in the Kingdom, exceeding the target percentage within the financial sector development program, which was set at 55% in 2021.
Fahad Al-Mubarak, the governor of the bank, said earlier, that SAMA is working to enhance its approach to expanding the electronic payments sector and digital transformation in payments, and developing the supporting infrastructure to activate the use of electronic channels, and reduce dependence on cash dealing, to reach electronic payments to 70 percent. by 2025.
According to the monitoring, e-commerce sales in the last quarter of last year amounted to 23.05 billion riyals, which is record sales compared to previous quarters, according to available data since the first quarter of 2019.
Sales were implemented through 110.67 million transactions during the fourth quarter, an increase of 101 percent compared to the same period last year, which amounted to 55.09 million transactions.
And the e-commerce sales being monitored include the operations of “mada” cards used for payment and purchase through shopping sites and electronic applications, and does not include the operations that take place through MasterCard, Visa and other credit cards.