Cashless transactions surge 8.3pc to 15.6m

More than 15.6 million cashless transactions were recorded in Bahrain last month, 8.3 per cent higher than May 2022, shows the latest data from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).

Infographics published by the regulator show that the total transactions (point-of-sale plus e-commerce) in May 2023 amounted to a value of BD349.1m ($852.9m), 7.4pc higher than in April 2023.

Three-fourths (77.2pc) of the 15,622,809 transactions were contactless, reflecting a shift in behaviour among consumers who previously primarily paid cash or were moderate card spenders.

Data shows that the highest number of transactions in May 2023 were carried out in restaurants (5,237,519), followed by supermarkets (3,726,887), government services (1,244,871), health services (828,095) and automobile dealerships (795,202).

In terms of value, government services at BD96.6m led the top five sectors, with restaurants at BD39.9m coming next, followed by supermarkets (BD33.6m), telecommunications services (BD23.8m) and automobile dealerships (BD18.9m).

The report shows electronic fund transfers in the kingdom increased during May 2023, extending the rising trend to more than three years.

Transactions using Fawri, Fawri+ and Fawateer services, enabled by the electronic fund transfer system (EFTS), continue to see substantial growth, cumulatively amounting to 30,547,928 last month.

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 (93.1pc) of EFTS transactions, followed by Fawateer making up 3.6pc and Fawri, taking a 3.3pc share.

The number of transactions completed through Fawri+ in May 2023 amounted to 28,435,235, up 44.2pc from the same month last year.

In terms of value of transactions, Fawri was the leader accounting for BD1.74 billion (71.5pc of the total), followed by Fawri+ at BD614.6m (25.3pc) and Fawateer at BD77.03m (3.2pc).

Also presented by the CBB was last month’s record of real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system transactions, where the value of interbank transactions was BD8.95bn, 4.9pc higher than the same month last year.

Data also shows that the value of payment gateway transactions was BD62.4m and the volume was 1.25m.

There has been an 11pc year-on-year drop in volume of ATM withdrawals to 1.06m, with their value falling by 7.1pc to BD105.5m.




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