53pc of credit-debit card transactions contactless

MANAMA: More than half of card transactions across point of sale (POS) terminals in Bahrain during January were contactless, reveal the latest infographics released by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).

Since the Covid-19 outbreak in March last year, consumers have preferred to use less cash, seeking safer and cleaner payment methods, which banks in the country have responded to by issuing credit and debit cards using near-field communication (NFC) technology.

CBB data on credit card and debit card transactions for purchase of products and services shows a jump of 19.5 per cent in volume to 8,953,867 (53.2pc of them contactless) in January 2021, from 7,598,274 in January 2020, which is another indication of the accelerated movement towards a cashless economy.

The statistics show that the value of transactions grew marginally year-on-year to BD223.5 million (30.2pc contactless) in January 2021 when compared with BD220m in January 2020.

The highest number of POS transactions last month were carried out in restaurants (2,094,754), followed by supermarkets (1,994,312), transportation (807,169), health services (632,389) and department stores (613,939).

All sectors, except restaurants and department stores, saw month-on-month rises in transactions during January 2021, with the highest jump of 41pc seen in the transportation sector.

In terms of value, government services at BD57.7m, led the top five sectors, with supermarkets at BD23.6m coming next, followed by restaurants (BD15.7m), health (BD13.5m) and department stores (BD12.3m).

According to the infographics, real-time electronic fund transfers in the kingdom jumped nearly six-fold in January 2021, marking the seventh straight month of a rising trend.

Transactions using Fawri, Fawri+ and Fawateer services, enabled by the electronic fund transfer system (EFTS), have seen substantial growth this January when compared with the same month of 2020.

Fawri+ is an almost real-time fund transfer service which allows individuals or entities to transfer funds of up to BD1,000 per day in less than 30 seconds; whereas Fawri is a deferred settlement fund transfer service which allows individuals or entities to transfer any amount within a few hours of the business day, and Fawateer provides real-time bill payments.

Last month, Fawri+ accounted for the vast majority, 84.8pc, of EFTS transactions, followed by Fawri and Fawateer at 8.7pc and 6.5pc respectively.

However, in terms of value, Fawri was the leader claiming 78.5pc, followed by Fawri+ at 18.3pc and Fawateer at 3.2pc.

The number of transactions completed through Fawri+ in January 2021 amounted to 8,036,018, up 498.05pc (nearly six times) from 1,343,696 in January 2020 and 7.9pc higher than 7,447,526 in December 2020.

In terms of value, Fawri+ transactions amounted to BD290.44m last month, up 232.78pc from BD87.28m for the same month last year, and 2.23pc higher than BD284.1m in December 2020.

As for Fawri, the number of transactions was up a tad (1.49pc) at 820,697 in January 2021, when compared with 808,617 in January 2020 and 9.5pc higher than 749,376 in November 2020.

The total value of Fawri transactions at BD1,242.39m last month was up 12.3pc from BD1,105.97m for the same month last year.

Transactions made through the Fawateer service in January 2021 amounted to 620,165, higher by 236.8pc than 184,125 in January 2020.

In terms of value, Fawateer transactions amounted to BD50.2m last month, 17.04pc higher than BD42.93m in January 2020.


Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/935843/53pc-of-credit-debit-card-transactions-contactless



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