The number and value of bounced cheques in Saudi Arabia has dramatically fallen by more than 70 percent since tougher penalties, including jail, were introduced four years ago, according to the Saudi Credit Bureau.
About SR3.8bn ($1.01bn) worth of cheques bounced during 2012, compared to SR15bn in 2009, marking a 74.6 percent decline.
Almost 22,800 personal cheques bounced during 2012, an increase of 2 percent. However, their value declined by 29 percent to SR1.3bn, according to the credit bureau.
The number of corporate bounced cheques dropped 44 percent to 22,189 last year, while their value fell 32 percent to SR2.5bn.
Majority of cheques bounced because of insufficient funds in the account (63 percent).
GCC countries have crackdown on bounced cheques in recent years.
In Saudi Arabia, new legislation passed in March 2010 provides punishments including fines of between SR100 and SR2,000 and jail from 15 days to six months, or both.
The tougher penalties were accompanied by an education campaign to prevent bounced cheques.