Terms and definitions

Credit Card

It is used to pay for purchases and obtain a cash advance as a debt to be paid in accordance with a contract entered into with the card issuer.


Banks and their foreign branches that are licensed by SAMA to carry out their business in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in accordance with the Banking Control Law.

Charge Card

A card similar to a credit card but it requires its holder to repay the full due amount upon receipt of the account statement or on the due date as per the account statement.

Business Credit Card

It is a credit or charge card issued under the name of a company to use it to pay for its bills, goods or services. Therefore, the company is fully liable for the amounts due on the card.

Corporate Card

It is a credit or charge card issued for a user or an employee with a company which is a legal entity. This card has 3 types of financial liabilities as follows:
  • The company is liable for any amount due on the card.
  • The user or the employee is liable for the amount due on the card.
  • The company is liable for any amount due on the card used for the company’s purposes.

Annual Percentage Rate (APR)

It is the total amount payable by the cardholder in accordance with the contract agreed upon with the card issuer, which is represented by the annual interest rate charged on the principle amount or the total amount of credit granted.

Cards of Companies in Bank Card Association

It refers to the international payment network, such as VISA, MaterCard, American Express, UnionPay, Diners Club, and other similar institutions.

Credit Bureau

It is the Saudi Credit Bureau (SIMAH), which is a licensed company offering consumer and commercial credit information services to respective members in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

Card Issuer

It is a licensed financial institution that issues credit or charge cards.

Card Billing Statement Cycle

It is the period between the issuance dates of account periodic statements. These periods must be equal (i.e. the number of days in the cycle must not differ from the agreed date for more than four days.)


It is the failure of a cardholder to repay his/her monthly installments for 90 calendar days from its due date.


This includes individuals, commercial corporations, and other legal organizations and commissions with no physical location in the Kingdom via Iqama (residence) Card, commercial register, professional license or any other official existence, such as diplomats, multilateral international organizations.

Cash Withdrawal

It is a cash withdrawal transaction made through an ATM or money transfer made by the card.

Cash Advance

It is a cash withdrawal transaction made through an ATM or money transfer made by the credit or charge card.

Passports of GCC Nationals

Passports issued by the immigration and passport authorities of any of the GCC states.

Diplomatic Card

A card issued by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Saudi Arabia for foreign diplomats.

Authorized Signatory to Authorize Other Signatories

Persons who are officers of specific entities (public/private) that banks can, on case by case basis, identify their powers by the following: approvals of the Ministry of Finance or the Saudi Central Bank, their job positions, appointment decisions, approvals of supervisory or concerned authorities, decisions of entities’ board of directors or owners, articles of associations of entities, commercial registers, job description (finance/human resources), powers of attorney, contracts entered into between banks and such entities, confirmation procedures set at the banks’ discretion, official seals or signature specimens.

First-Degree Relatives

This includes the father, mother, husband, wife, son and daughter.

Woman with Identity Referenced by Government Entity

A woman who works with and receives from a government entity a salary and financial earnings for which an opening of a bank account is required, and does not have any identification documents that show her identity (e.g. national ID or passport) or a relative person, who she can never marry (mahram), to serve as her identity reference.

Woman with Non-Disclosed Bank Information and Identity

A woman with no proof of identity/personal ID showing both her personal information and face, or a woman who has proof of identity/personal ID showing both her personal information and face, but is not willing to unveil her face at banks’ ladies branches nor does she allow photocopying of her proof of identity/personal ID (concealing information and identity.)

Personal Identity Reference for Veiled Woman

A person known to a veiled woman applying for an account, serving as her identity reference, who is: one of her first, second, third or fourth degree of relatives, who can never marry this woman (mahram), a relative through affinity or legally proven foster brother who is at least eighteen years old (in Hijri calendar), her fifteen-year-old (in Hijri calendar) sons or brothers holding civil status identity card/national ID, or a Saudi woman (who is not of the bank employees) having a national ID.

Personal Procedure Reference Assistant for Blind or Illiterate Persons

A literate person known the blind or illiterate person applying for an account, who is eighteen years old or fifteen years old having a civil status card or national ID. This person assists by reading out the procedures and the account opening agreement to the blind or illiterate person and acts as a witness to such proceedings. In case the blind or illiterate is a woman, this person must be one of her relatives whom she can never marry (mahram).

Bank Account

It is an accounting record (financial account) with a bank licensed to operate in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia in which all financial transactions made between the customer and the bank are recorded. Such a record is generated under a contract called "Account Opening Agreement" signed by the bank and the account holder (the Customer).

Freezing of Account

It is the temporary suspension of withdrawal from a bank account/relationship due to the expiration of the account holder’s ID or none updating by the customer or authorized party acting on behalf of him/her of the personal data and information addresses, income source, signatures and other relevant data.

Residents (Individuals)

Saudi nationals, nationals of the state members of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) and expatriates.

Nationals of the GCC States

They are the nationals of the following states: Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman.

Original Identification Documents for Saudi Nationals

There are a number of original proof of identification documents that are for Saudi nationals which include the following: Civil Status Identity Card, National ID Card, Family Book, Family Register, Diplomatic or Personal Saudi Passport, Vital Records, Approved Civil Register for women, Birth Certificates, Passport for Saudi Woman.

Identification Documents for Non-Saudi Legal Residents of the Kingdom

  • Identity Book: It is proof of identity which is a magnetic card or a regular book.
  • Iqama (residence) Card with 5-year validity period: A card held by tribal individuals as proof of identity.

Age of Maturity

It is eighteen years (in Hijri calendar).

Discerning Juvenile

A person whose age is fifteen years old (in Hijri calendar) and has a national ID or civil status identity card.

Incompetent Person

A person who is not legally allowed to manage his/her money due to dissipation, mental incompetence or bankruptcy.


A person who is a custodian of an orphan, a steward of endowment or a guardian of a minor.


The father of a minor or the latter grandfather in case the father is deceased.


A person who is appointed as a Trustee of a minor in accordance with a trusteeship deed issued by Sharia courts.

Credit Card Limit

It is the available balance of the credit or charge card as per the contract agreed upon.

Negative Information

It is the information disclosed by the member, negatively affected by the consumer’s credit record, and thus against his/her interest.

Negative Decision

It is a decision made by the member and based on the consumer’s credit record, which is against the consumer’s interest.

Finance Agreement

An agreement whereby credit is granted for activities allowed to be funded in accordance with the financing rules and regulations.