Card transactions jump 15.5 per cent

MANAMA: Six out of 10 point of sale (POS) card transactions in Bahrain last month were contactless, continuing the trend for the second straight month, it has emerged.

Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) data on credit card and debit card transactions for purchase of products and services shows a jump of 15.5 per cent in volume to 8,953,867 (56.8 pc of them contactless) in February 2021, from 6,998,698 in February 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 BD211.1 million (32.1pc contactless) in February 2021 compared with BD205.7m in February 2020.

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.

The highest number of POS transactions last month were carried out in supermarkets (1,824,504), followed by restaurants (1,739,383), transportation (801,353), health services (581,885) and department stores (555,904).

In terms of value, government services at BD55.3m, led the top five sectors, with supermarkets at BD21.4m coming next, followed by restaurants (BD12.6m), health (BD11.5m) and department stores (BD10.9m).

The infographics show real-time electronic fund transfers in the kingdom jumped more than five-fold in February 2021, marking the eighth 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 February 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, 85.8pc, of EFTS transactions, followed by Fawri and Fawateer at 7.7pc and 6.5pc respectively.

However, in terms of value, Fawri was the leader claiming 76.8pc, followed by Fawri+ at 20.2pc and Fawateer at 3pc.

The number of transactions completed through Fawri+ in February 2021 amounted to 7,682,812, up 424.23pc from 1,465,529 in February 2020.

In terms of value, Fawri+ transactions amounted to BD278.82m last month, up 200.41pc from BD92.81m for the same month last year.

As for Fawri, the number of transactions was up 8.42pc at 694,159 in February 2021, when compared with 640,234 in 2020.

The total value of Fawri transactions at BD1,059m last month was up 2.44pc from BD1,034m for the same month last year.

Transactions made through the Fawateer service in February 2021 amounted to 586,616, higher by 264.6pc than 160,889 in February 2020.

In terms of value, Fawateer transactions amounted to BD41.7m last month, 9.34pc higher than BD38.2m in the same month last year.




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