Workforce Payments Guide Saudi Arabia

Last updated: Dec 17, 2023

Currency
Saudi Riyal (SAR)
Payroll Frequency
Monthly
Capital
Riyadh
Fiscal Year
1 January- 31 December
Employer Taxes
12.00% to 14.00%
Employee Costs
10%
Central Bank
Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)
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3rd Party Payments

Employers must make social insurance payments and submit monthly payroll documents (Form 4) to GISO by the 15th of each month.

Payments Coverage

Papapya Global can support only SWIFT payments in Saudi Arabia.

Funding currencies are AED,AUD,CAD, CHF, kr DKK, EUR, GBP, HKD, NZD, kr SEK, SGD, USD.

The payout can be done in multiple currencies and the payment in up to 3 days.

Contractor Payments

Papaya Global supports payments to contractors in Saudi Arabia. The payout currency may vary based on the receiver bank account setup when receiving foreign currencies. it is advised for contractors to reach out to their bank to confirm how foreign currencies are handled

IBAN

IBAN Example Saudi Arabia SA3236228897139436475461
IBAN in print SA32 3622 8897 1394 3647 5461
Country Code SA
Digit Code 32
Bank Code 36
Bank Account Number 228897139436475461

KYC

The KYC procedure in Saudi Arabia is governed by various laws and regulations, such as the Anti-Money Laundering Law, the Rules Governing Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorist Financing, and the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) Recommendations.
The KYC procedure in Saudi Arabia generally requires the following steps:
  • Obtaining and verifying the customer’s identification documents, such as national ID card, passport, driving license, or credit/debit card. The documents must be authenticated by the relevant authorities, such as the Ministry of Anti-Money Laundering, the Saudi Central Bank.
  • Collecting and verifying the customer’s personal information, such as name, date of birth, nationality, address, phone number, email, occupation, and source of funds. The information must be updated regularly and checked against local and international sanctions lists and watchlists.
  • Assessing and monitoring the customer’s risk profile, behavior, and transaction patterns. The risk assessment must be based on a risk-based approach that considers the nature, size, and complexity of the business. The risk monitoring must include reporting any suspicious or unusual activities to the Saudi Arabia Financial Intelligence Unit (SAFIU).

Banking Regulations

Banking laws and regulations in Saudi Arabia impacting cross-border workforce payments:

  • The Law of Payments and Payment Services, which regulates the provision of payment services and products in Saudi Arabia, including cross-border payments. The law requires payment service providers to obtain a license from the Saudi Central Bank (SAMA), comply with anti-money laundering and counter-terrorism financing rules, report transactions to SAMA, and protect the data and privacy of their cu`stomers.
  • The Banking Rules and Regulations, which govern the banking sector in Saudi Arabia, including foreign banks that operate or engage in cross-border electronic banking activities in the Saudi market. The rules and regulations require banks to obtain a license from SAMA, adhere to certain standards and codes of conduct, and follow SAMA’s instructions and circulars.
  • The Anti-Money Laundering Law, which aims to prevent and combat money laundering and terrorist financing in Saudi Arabia, including cross-border transactions. The law imposes obligations and duties on financial institutions and other entities that deal with money or property, such as verifying the identity and background of their customers, reporting suspicious or unusual activities to the Saudi Arabia Financial Intelligence Unit (SAFIU), and keeping records and documents.
  • The Rules on Cross-Border Bankruptcy Procedures, which provide a framework for the recognition and enforcement of foreign bankruptcy procedures in Saudi Arabia, as well as judicial assistance to foreign officeholders involved in such procedures. The rules outline the conditions and procedures for requesting and granting recognition, the effects and consequences of recognition, and the forms of judicial assistance available.

Opening Bank Account

To open a corporate bank account in Saudi Arabia, the following documents are needed:

  • A copy of the investment license issued by the Ministry of Investment (MISA)
  • Registered National Address in Saudi Arabia
  • Articles of Association (AoA) of the parent company
  • General Manager’s authorization to open and manage the bank account
  • Articles of Association (AoA) of the local company
  • ID copy (residence permit card/Iqama) of General Manager
  • A copy of the company’s board resolution, signed by all of the company’s directors
  • A copy of the company’s business license issued by the Ministry of Commerce and Investment (MCI)
  • A copy of the passport or ID of the company’s directors and shareholders

Please note that the requirements may vary depending on the bank’s policy.

It can be a lengthy process and can require a few weeks, depending on the bank and the specifics of the situation.

International Banks

Some of the international banks which operates in Saudi Arabia:

  • Emirates NBD
  • National Bank of Bahrain (NBB)
  • National Bank of Kuwait (NBK)
  • Deutsche Bank
  • BNP Paribas
  • J.P. Morgan Chase N.A
  • Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC)
  • Qatar National Bank
  • First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB)
  • Bank of China Limited
  • Banque Misr
  • National Bank of Iraq

Major Local Banks

  • Saudi National Bank (SNB)
  • Al Rajhi Bank
  • Saudi British Bank (SABB)
  • Riyad Bank
  • Banque Saudi Fransi (BSF)

Local B2C Payments Tools

Global payment tools such as Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, or Apple Pay are widely accepted in Saudi Arabia.

Additional tools:

BayanPay: A payment gateway aggregator that enables payment solutions for B2B, B2C, and B2G customers. It supports various payment methods, such as credit cards, debit cards, prepaid cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets.

OneCard: A prepaid card that can be used to shop online, pay bills, recharge mobiles, and transfer money. It can be purchased at various outlets or online, and it can be recharged using various methods, such as bank transfers, ATM deposits, or cash payments.

Mobiamo: A mobile payment solution that allows users to pay for online purchases using their mobile phone balance. It supports over 240 mobile operators in more than 80 countries, including Saudi Arabia.

STC Pay: A digital wallet that allows users to send and receive money, pay bills, shop online, and withdraw cash from ATMs. It is powered by Saudi Telecom Company (STC), the largest telecom provider in the country.

Cryptocurrency

Cryptocurrency is not officially recognized as legal tender in Saudi Arabia. The Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority has warned against Bitcoin as it is not monitored or supported by any regulatory body. Banks are banned from dealing with the cryptocurrency. The official stance of the Saudi government is that “unauthorized virtual currencies are illegal inside the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia”. However, there are no restrictions on individuals purchasing or spending Bitcoin.

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