Bahrain's cashless transactions jump 65pc in August

Seven out of 10 card transactions in Bahrain last month were contactless, extending the trend for a year, shows the latest Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) data.

Infographics from the banking regulator reveal the volume of cashless payments jumped 65.1 per cent to 11,321,356 (67.3pc of them contactless) in August, whereas the total value of purchase of products and services using credit and debit cards at both points of sale and online grew 50.2pc year-on-year (YoY) to BD279.6 million.

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.

Over the last year most local and international banks have started offering 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 statistics show that the highest number of transactions last month were carried out in restaurants (3,664,051), up 5.1pc YoY, followed by supermarkets (2,512,746), up 9.5pc, health services (756,590), up 6.9pc, government services (696,009), up 17.2pc, and department stores (576,463), down 25.5pc.

In terms of value, government services at BD70.3m, up 9.4pc YoY, led the top five sectors, with supermarkets at BD29.1m, up 14.8pc YoY, coming next, followed by restaurants (BD28.4m), up 11.4pc, health (BD15.2m), up 3pc, and hotels and resorts (BD14.8m).


The CBB report notes that electronic fund transfers in the kingdom increased during June, extending the rising trend to a year.

Transactions using Fawri, Fawri+ and Fawateer services, enabled by the electronic fund transfer system (EFTS), continue to see substantial growth.

Fawri+ is an almost real-time fund transfer service that allows individuals or organisations to transfer funds of up to BD1,000 per day in less than 30 seconds; whereas Fawri is a deferred settlement fund transfer service that enables individuals or organisations 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, 88.4pc, of EFTS transactions, followed by Fawri (6pc) and Fawateer (5.6pc).

However, in terms of transaction value, Fawri was the leader at 73.9pc, followed by Fawri+ at 22.6pc and Fawateer at 3.5pc.

The number of transactions completed through Fawri+ in August 2021 amounted to 12,638,251, up 202.51pc from the same month last year.

In terms of value, Fawri+ transactions amounted to BD386.5m last month, up 110.5pc YoY. As for Fawri, the number of transactions was up 28.5pc at 801,586, and their value was up 39.75pc to BD1.26 billion.

The volume of successful payment gateway transactions was up 29.47pc to 25,071 and their value was up 60.4pc to BD7.92bn.




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