Visa, the digital payment giant announced that it has partnered with mada, the national payment scheme, to bring Saudi consumers mada Pay, the first mobile payment solution that supports contactless (NFC) transactions to launch in the Kingdom.
mada Pay will be an Android-based mobile application that enables cardholders to make fast, easy and secure contactless mobile payments at NFC-enabled merchants throughout Saudi and abroad with Saudi-issued Visa cards (credit and prepaid). Visa and mada co-badged (both debit and prepaid) cards can also be used with mada Pay.
The mada Pay app features built-in security technology enabled by Visa Token Service and mada Tokenization Platform that replaces card data, including the 16-digit card number, with a “token” (a random number), to protect cardholders’ account information. During the transaction, the token is selected (either a mada or Visa token) and submitted into the payment process rather than the actual card information, depending on the type of card and geographical location where the transaction occurs. This means that users of digital applications such as mada Pay are able to pay, safe in the knowledge that they are protected by multiple layers of security.
Ziad Al Yousef, general manager of the General Department of Payments Systems at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority, said in a statement the launch represents an “important step forward” in the government’s plan to realise its Vision 2030 economic transformation initiative.