65.1pc of credit and debit card transactions in April contactless

MANAMA: More than six out of 10 card transactions in Bahrain last month were contactless, continuing the trend for the fourth straight month, shows Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) data.

Purchase of products and services using credit and debit cards at both points of sale (POS) and online combined shows a jump of 79.9 per cent in volume to 8,825,900 (65.1pc of them contactless) in April, from 4,905,896 in the same month last year, which is another indication of the accelerated movement towards a cashless economy.

The statistics show that the value of transactions grew 60.2pc year-on-year to BD235.6 million (38.5pc contactless) last month compared with BD147m in April 2020.

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

The last few months have seen local and international banks also start to offer cardless withdrawals from their ATMs using the BenefitPay e-wallet, from Benefit, the kingdom’s only operator of electronic financial transactions.

The service has been made possible because of tokenisation - the process of protecting sensitive data by replacing it with an algorithmically generated number called a token.

The highest number of transactions last month were carried out in supermarkets (2,186,781), followed by restaurants (1,681,452), transportation (736,841), department stores (667,213) and health services (659,892).

In terms of value, government services at BD62.5m, led the top five sectors, with supermarkets at BD26m coming next, followed by health (BD13.4m), department stores (BD12.9m) and restaurants (BD11.6m).

The infographics show real-time electronic fund transfers in the kingdom jumped more than four-fold in April 2021, marking the tenth straight month of a rising trend.

Transactions using Fawri, Fawri+ and Fawateer services, enabled by the electronic fund transfer system (EFTS), continue to see substantial growth, in both year-on-year and month-on-month terms.

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 March, Fawri+ accounted for the vast majority, 86pc, of EFTS transactions, followed by Fawri and Fawateer at 8pc and 6pc respectively.

However, in terms of transaction value, Fawri was the leader at 77pc, followed by Fawri+ at 20pc and Fawateer at 3pc.

The number of transactions completed through Fawri+ in April 2021 amounted to 9,565,290, up 324.4pc from 2,253,822 in April 2020.

In terms of value, Fawri+ transactions amounted to BD332.66m last month, up 139.17pc from BD139.09m for the same month last year.

As for Fawri, the number of transactions was up 14.68pc at 885,795 when compared with 772,394.

Transactions made through the Fawateer service amounted to 676,286, higher by 516.2pc than 109,748 in April 2020.

The regulator also issued the latest numbers of the Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) system, whereby all inter-bank and customer transaction payments are processed and settled in real-time, online mode.

The volume of RTGS transactions at 26,418 last month is up 13pc from 23,292, while the value is up by 15.71pc year-on-year to BD7.946 billion.


Source: https://www.gdnonline.com/Details/944510/651pc-of-credit-and-debit-card-transactions-in-April-contactless


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