SAMA adopts measures to protect clients from financial fraud

The monetary authority halted opening of online bank accounts

As of Sunday, banks in Saudi have stopped allowing individuals or institutions to open online accounts except through branches. This comes according to Saudi Central Bank (SAMA)’s resolution to impose precautionary measures to protect bank customers from increasing financial fraud.

In a statement published on Twitter, SAMA directed banks to halt the option of opening online accounts for individuals or institutions.

Under the new measures, accounts are to be opened through branches only and not remotely.

Other measures included limits on daily electronic transfers and holding the international transfers for 24 hours.

The new procedures also included restricting daily financial transfers to individuals and individual institutions to no more than 60,000 riyals, all while allowing clients to request a limit increase from the relevant banks.

The new measures came as an increase in fraud has been observed recently, through impersonation of platforms that sell goods or provide services, with names of official entities, to obtain access data on electronic banking services.

SAMA recently reported that around 4.84 million accounts (55 percent) were opened remotely without checking that the customer’s identification number matched that of the mobile network’s identity.