Saudi Arabia shoppers Medina
Shoppers queue up outside a mall in the Saudi city of Medina in this file picture. Image Credit: SPA

Cairo: Coffee shops and restaurants in Saudi Arabia will have to make e-payment available to their customers by late July under a national scheme to combat commercial cover-ups in the kingdom, according to a state agency.

The National Programme for Combat of Commercial Cover-ups, affiliated with the Saudi Ministry of Commerce, said that those businesses will have to provide e-payment methods by July 28.

All retailers in the kingdom will have to observe the e-payment mechanism in August, the programme added.

"As of August 25, all retail activities, which previously did not comply, will have to be committed to providing an e-payment solution according to the commitment initiative that the National Programme for Combat of Commercial Cover-ups launched within 14 months," it added on Twitter.

The programme was unveiled last year, with support from several state institutions in Saudi Arabia including the Ministry of Labour and Social Development, the Ministry of Municipal and Village Affairs, the General Investment Authority, the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority and the Small and Medium Enterprises General Auuthority.

In undertaking the mission of exposing commercial covers-up, the programme promotes opening bank accounts for businesses, automating services and boosting commercial transparency.