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Sophie Cartwright
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FIME selected by mada payment system to develop next-gen testing and validation scheme

The online platform will streamline mada’s new product testing and certification process for member banks, and POI & card vendors 

FIME, a partner of Alhamrani Universal in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA), has been selected by mada, the domestic payment scheme, to develop a state-of-the-art, bespoke cloud-based testing platform and certification process.

For member banks, and points of interaction (POI) and payment instrument vendors, the new secure portal will make the certification process quicker, more cost efficient and convenient. This will smooth the development and launch of new payments products. As the project will fully automate and streamline the testing and certification process, the costs and resources required to manage the scheme will also be dramatically reduced for mada.  

The new self-service platform will operate 24/7 and enable stakeholders to:

  • Log into a private, secure mada network.
  • Create a certification project.
  • Perform testing in-house on payment terminals and cards.
  • Submit test logs to the cloud.
  • Monitor validation progress in real-time.
  • Completely remove the need to send hardware for certification.

“Our current certification processes are complex, as a result they can be time and resource intensive for everyone involved,” comments Ziad Al Yousef, General Director of Payment Systems Department at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA). “By automating our systems and deploying them online, we can streamline the whole process, reduce certification time and give member banks and vendors the accessible service that they need to innovate.

“All of this work ties into supporting the Saudi Vision 2030 goal of a cashless society. FIME’s expertise in supporting payment schemes made them stand out as the partner that could help us to realize this vision and deliver a truly world-class, testing and certification service.”

“This is certification for the digital age,” comments Lionel Grosclaude, CEO, FIME. “It is a hugely ambitious project that’s leading the way in our cloud-based strategy and will be the first system of its kind. Cloud-based certification puts banks in the driving seat and removes the logistical and administrative headache that schemes face when managing all of the testing themselves. We share mada’s laser-focus on efficiency and innovation. Its commitment to improving members’ user experience is commendable, and we look forward to sharing updates throughout the project.”

“We are proud to participate with our long-term partner, FIME, in bringing in the latest innovation in certification services to the Kingdom”, comments Tariq Abdat, President of Alhamrani Universal.

FIME is working with long-term local partner Alhamrani Universal to develop the new certification body processes and tools. In addition, FIME’s experts are also providing full EMV® consultancy and personalization validation services.

FIME offers comprehensive consulting services, technical training, technology design, test tools and certification testing across the financial services, transport and identity sectors. Its experts support projects from start to finish, resolving the technical challenges its customers face when implementing a complete portfolio of specifications, standards and multi-brand industry requirements.

FIME speaks the language of its customers and uses its 20+ years of experience to ensure that card and mobile transactions services are implemented efficiently and successfully. It supports a range of technologies including contact, contactless, EMV chip, near field communication (NFC), host card emulation (HCE), tokenization, secure element (SE), machine to machine (M2M), internet of things (IoT) and trusted execution environment (TEE).

Partnering with the international and national payment schemes, and industry bodies, FIME ensures its multi-brand offering is always aligned with the latest market requirements.

mada is the brand name for the payment scheme in Saudi Arabia.  mada central payment switch processes all inter-bank automated teller machines (ATMs) transactions and directly drives all point-of-sale (POS) terminals on behalf of acquirer banks throughout the country.  It also connects with other payment systems, which includes GCCNET, VISA, MasterCard, UnionPay and American Express - to support local and global acceptance. Today, it connects more than 18,000 ATMs via its member banks and 300,000 POS terminals.  It handles more than 1.34 billion transactions with a total value of almost SAR 628 billion (167 billion USD).

Alhamrani Universal is a dynamic company founded in 1981 that provides innovative, high-quality solutions and support services in the financial, retail and security industries. Alhamrani Universal is the largest ATM solution provider in the Middle East and a pioneer in POS and Security solutions across the KSA.