Saudi Payments, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority (SAMA), has signed a network alliance agreement with Discover Financial Services.

The strategic deal is aimed at augmenting the international payments acceptance footprint for both the companies from all their cardholders.

The agreement will enable cardholders of Discover, Diners Club and Pulse to use their card on the Saudi payments network (mada).

Cardholders will get access to over 470,000 point-of-sale (POS) terminals at local merchants and more than 18,000 ATMs in the country.

Likewise, Saudi banks can issue cards that will be accepted on Discover Global Network for international payments and withdrawing cash outside the country.

The customers can benefit from additional payment methods, which they can use at over 48 million merchant locations across 200 countries.

Saudi Payments managing director Ziad Al-Yousef said: “The new partnership with Discover global network reflects Saudi Payments’ commitment to providing multiple payment options in the Kingdom’s digital payments sector and supports the Kingdom’s target of becoming a 70% cashless society by 2030.

“This will increase choice for all our stakeholders, including citizens, residents, tourists and pilgrims and make transactions smoother and easier.”

Discover VP of International Markets Matt Sloan added: “Through alliances with regional payments networks such as Saudi Payments, Discover is able to continue to provide our partners with the global reach and localized solutions that they value.”