Mobile Banking in Saudi Arabia [Bank Account Opening]

When it comes to international banking options, mobile banking in Saudi Arabia might not come to mind as a top choice.

But, it’s important to remember that around one third (+33%) of Saudi Arabia’s population are expats.

In other words, people who live and work in Saudi Arabia from other countries. And, the vast majority of these expats need to access international personal banking.

With this in mind, we’re going to explore banking options that cater to expats living and working in Saudi Arabia, including both domestic and international options.

Feel free to use the table of contents to jump ahead to any sections that are immediately relevant to your search.

Table of Contents

  1. Mobile Banking in Saudi Arabia
  2. Expat Banking Considerations
  3. Frequently Asked Questions
  4. Ready to Explore Your Options?

Mobile Banking in Saudia Arabia

Most of the major banks operating in Saudi Arabia offer mobile banking. This includes international banks from regional banking hubs like Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, and Dubai, as well as major domestic banks.

In fact, the vast majority of banking services can be carried out through mobile banking in Saudi Arabia, including basic payments, government fees, and more. Though this shouldn’t be a surprise since Saudi Arabia has an internet penetration of more than 93%. For comparison, the USA has an internet penetration of 90%.

Here is a look at the standard banking activities you can carry out with mobile banking in Saudi Arabia.

  • Government Payments & Bills
  • Account Maintenance
  • Payment Card Management
  • Utilities Payments
  • Transaction Approvals
  • Letters of Guarantee
  • Managing Beneficiaries
  • And more

Benefits of Opening a Bank Account in Saudia Arabia

If you are living and working in Saudi Arabia, then opening an account here will facilitate your basic requirements. This includes paying local bills, receiving your domestic salary, and of course being able to transact with local debit cards.

That said, if you are only planning on living and working in Saudi Arabia for a short period of time, you may want to consider opening an expat account in a third jurisdiction as well. We’ll discuss this in greater detail below.

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Expat Banking Considerations

Expats typically require domestic banking to support their local activities (e.g. mobile banking in Saudi Arabia) and international banking to provide stability throughout their career.

In fact, in most cases, expats choose to supplement their local banking with a bank in a third jurisdiction where they don’t have local ties. Typically examples of third jurisdictions include the Isle of Man, Jersey, Guernsey, Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Singapore, and elsewhere.

By opening both a local bank account and an international bank account, expats can still meet their local financial obligations while also maintaining long-term stability in terms of investments, financing options, and even credit history.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are two of the most common questions that we receive from people looking for information about mobile banking in Saudi Arabia. If you have further questions you would like answered, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us directly.

Which Bank is Best for Mobile Banking in Saudi Arabia?

When determining which bank is best for mobile banking in Saudi Arabia, the focus should instead be on which bank meets your banking requirements. This is because most of the major domestic and international banks that you can choose from offer suitable mobile banking platforms. So, instead of just focusing on suitable mobile banking you should also focus on finding banks that meet your broader requirements.

Can Non-Residents Open Accounts in Saudi Arabia?

To open bank accounts in Saudi Arabia, you will need to be a resident. The process requires an in person visit to the bank and providing proof of local employment, your residence permit, passport, and a working mobile phone number.

Alternatively, if you are looking to open a corporate bank account for a non-resident company, this is possible. That said, the process to open a non-resident corporate account can take up to three months. During this time you would need to complete the initial account opening, which would then be followed by converting the account to an operating account.

Ready to Explore Your Options?

If you would like assistance navigating your banking options at home or abroad, we can help.

You can access GlobalBanks IQ, our international banking intelligence platform, in just a few clicks. Unlock our bank database, individual bank profiles, account opening strategies and reports, banker scripts, and more.

But, if you want a 100% personalized account opening service that taps into our team’s expertise and provides direct banker introductions, you can get started with GlobalBanks Insider.

Of course, if you have any questions, please contact us directly.

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GlobalBanks Team
GlobalBanks Team

The GlobalBanks editorial team comprises a group of subject-matter experts from across the banking world, including former bankers, analysts, investors, and entrepreneurs. All have in-depth knowledge and experience in various aspects of international banking. In particular, they have expertise in banking for foreigners, non-residents, and both foreign and offshore companies.

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