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Riyad Bank CEO: The future is in digital banking

Published: Updated:

“We have a strong belief in Riyad Bank that the future of banking is technology, in digital banking,” said Tareq al-Sadhan, the CEO of Riyad Bank in Saudi Arabia, in an interview with Al Arabiya English.

“We are investing significantly in the small and medium enterprises and entrepreneurs, to be specific.”

“Riyad Bank has always been advanced when it comes to technological offering. We always introduce the latest technology,” he added.

When asked if there were any plans in motion to close branches of Riyad Bank, the CEO said there weren’t. “The requirement for physical branches is still there, but we’ll keep evaluating this strategy.”

The rules of the zakat, the obligatory Islamic alms-giving practice, changed last year and this year in Saudi Arabia. According to the Kingdom’s General Authority of Zakat and Tax, zakat is mandatory for business activities that aim to earn money.

Regarding Riyad Bank’s zakat, al-Sadhan said: “We expect the calculation of the zakat for 2019 and beyond to be in line with what we’ve been calculating over the previous years.”

Earlier in March, the General Authority of Zakat and Tax denied a Bloomberg report claiming that Saudi Arabia is considering plans to increase an Islamic tax paid by local banks and investors from 10 to 20 percent.