Saudi Arabia requires all grocery stores to provide e-payment methods

All grocery stores in Saudi Arabia are required to provide electronic payment methods to customers. This is in order to reduce cash circulation amid the coronavirus outbreak, official Saudi Press Agency reported.

The deadline to abide with the new rule is May 10.

The decision comes under the Ministry of Commerce and Investment’s program to combat commercial cover-ups. It is also in line with the Kingdom’s precautionary measures to slow the spread of the deadly virus, SPA reported.

Last month, according to an Independent UK report; the World Health Organization (WHO) said “it’s possible” for the virus to spread through banknotes. The report also said WHO advised switching to contactless payments, or for people to wash their hands immediately after handling cash.

Saudi Arabia has implemented several measures to fight the spread of the virus including enforcing partial and total lockdowns throughout the Kingdom, in addition to the suspension of group prayers in all mosques.

The Kingdom has so far recorded 11,631 infection cases and the death toll reached 109 on Tuesday. The health ministry said 1,640 have recovered.