The SAMA or Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority has just now announced that it plans on completely stopping the printing of any more SAR 1 notes. In accordance with the reports in local Saudi media, a new proposed SAR 2 coin will be introduced to the public very soon. The report also stated that the SAR 1 and SAR 2 coins are ideal for those people who want to purchase any small items such as soft drinks or a snack and can also be used for services which include parking meters. Additionally, the central aim of this new move is to ensure that around 80 percent of the general public will use electronic means in order to purchase or acquire any goods. Currently, around 84 percent of the general public prefers cash transactions over electronic ones.
This new move by the Saudi Arabian Monetary Authority has not been liked by the general public and several of them have come to the various social media platforms and websites to express their concerns as well as their disdain at the new move by the SAMA. Several social media users have also expressed their anger over the half riyals and this new trend by shop keepers around the Kingdom, where they just give you a piece of gum or candy in exchange for your change. Some of the shopkeepers do not even make an effort to return the change and simply hand you the gum or candy, hence increasing their sales, and you cannot do anything about it. Do you know that there are harsh penalties for dealing with fake currency in Saudi Arabia?
If anybody buys anything for supposing SAR 2.50, you will now be receiving something equivalent to SAR 1.50 retail value. This means that the actual value of whatever candy or gum you receive might not be more than 0.5 SAR, however, the retail price that the store or shop keeper charges is more than that hence the shop keeper will be earning a profit over your change as well. This trend is not only prevalent in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia; it is quite evident in the eastern part of the world.
Store keepers and cashiers have simply now kept a box of candy which is to be used to pay the change back to customers. What also happens is that sometimes the older and closer to expiry candies and chewing gum is kept next to the counter so that the shopkeeper can get rid of them and still earns a profit on them.
Moreover, it should be understood that not everybody is in a location with complete access to fiber optics and electronic buying. Some people live in remote areas and will have to travel long distances in order to reach the closest place which has electronic purchasing available. The lack of electronic purchasing ability in some regions can also mean that transactions get delayed, and cause chaos at the end of the year or during the billing period. People are asking if this move is done for the convenience of the people then why are there so many obstacles to it.
Source: Arab News