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SAMA Permits Pilgrims to Use Foreign Bank Cards

The Central Bank of Saudi Arabia (SAMA) has prepared to serve pilgrims’ banking and financial needs during the Hajj season. There are 110 bank branches, including temporary and mobile branches, in the holy regions and sites such as Mina, and on the border areas. Additionally, 36 branches across the Kingdom will operate during the Eid al-Adha holiday from 9:30 am to 8:30 pm. Airport branches will operate 24 hours or follow airport working hours.

The Central Bank has provided 122 ATMs in the Kingdom, in addition to 633 and 568 financial devices in Mecca and Medina respectively to serve pilgrims.

ATM Card Usage for Pilgrims During Hajj

Sama explained during the “Biwodoh” program on the “Al-Ekhbariya” channel that it is providing services allowing pilgrims to use ATM cards issued by their home countries for the first time this Hajj season. The national payments system “Mada” has long supported payment and withdrawal operations through global networks like “Visa”, “MasterCard”, “UnionPay”, “Discover”, “American Express”, and the Gulf Payments Network “Afaq”.

Pilgrims can use their cards issued by their country for payments or cash withdrawals in the Kingdom if the global network linked to the card is accepted by stores or ATMs.

The Central Bank of Saudi Arabia is also creating and activating various other payment options. This aims to enable visitors, including pilgrims, Umrah performers, and tourists, to transact within the Kingdom easily. These efforts are part of achieving the goals of the Kingdom’s Vision 2030.

The bank noted that it distributed over 5 billion riyals of various denominations to Central Bank branches in Jeddah, Mecca, and Medina recently. It monitored daily cash movement in the Kingdom, especially in the Western Region during Hajj, and provided additional cash as needed.

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