Saudi Arabia’s Social Development Bank, working in cooperation with Alinma Bank, has released the latest version of its Zood savings program, which has been expanded beyond individual particpants, and is now open to owners of small home businesses. Leading the effort was H.E. Eng. Ahmed bin Sulaiman Al Rajhi, who serves as both Minister of Labor, and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Social Development Bank. Al Rajhi praised Alinma’s involvement in the launch and thanked the bank for its support in helping develop the original Zood program as well as this most recent extension of it.
Speaking about the new version of the Zood savings program, Alinma Bank CEO, Mr. Abdulmohsen Al-Fares, emphasized that the bank’s involvement came as part of its ongoing effort to support partnerships between the private and public sectors. He also noted that Alinma was pleased to have the opportunity to support the Financial Sector Development Program’s objective of “promoting and enabling financial planning,” which aims to stimulate sustainable demand for savings plans, enhance financial literacy, and raise the current savings rate in Saudi Arabia from 6% of total household income to more than 10%.
The Zood savings program began in May 2018, with Alinma Bank and the Social Development Bank signing an agreement through which Zood was conceived. Designed to encourage savings among Saudi citizens by offering returns on their deposited savings, the program quickly grew to include more than 20,000 Social Development Bank beneficiaries. It was then decided that the program would be expanded to individuals owning home businesses. In both instances, Alinma facilitates program participation by allowing individuals to open savings accounts online through Alinma’s website and its smart device application. No branch visits or additional paperwork are required.
Through the same self-service banking channels from Alinma Bank, program participants can manage their account details, including the amount designated for the Zood savings program and targeted monthly returns. As is the case with all of Alinma’s products and services, Zood is fully Shariah-compliant.