Eight-fold rise in electronic real-time fund transfers

MANAMA: A nearly eight-fold jump in electronic real-time fund transfers for two months in a row shows digitalisation is well underway in Bahrain’s financial services.

The latest infographics released by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) reveal that transactions using Fawri, Fawri+ and Fawateer services, enabled by the Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS), have seen substantial growth in August this year when compared with the same month last year.

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.

Fawri+ accounted for the vast majority, 82pc, of EFTS transactions, followed by Fawri and Fawateer at 11pc and 7pc respectively.

However, in terms of value, Fawri was the leader claiming 79pc, followed by Fawri+ at 18pc and Fawateer at 3pc.

The number of transactions completed through Fawri+ in August 2020 amounted to 4,642,743, up 669pc (around 7.8 times) from 603,734 in August 2019 and 2.23pc from 4,541,517 in July 2020.

In terms of value, Fawri+ transactions amounted to BD204.5m in August 2020, up 318.6pc from BD48.9m in August 2019, but down 8.96pc from BD224.62m in July 2020.

As for Fawri, the number of transactions jumped by 14.52pc to 623,897 in August 2020, when compared with 544,800 in August 2019 but down by 22.97pc when compared with 809,907 in July 2020.

Also, the total value of Fawri transactions at BD906.35m in August 2020 was down 4.65pc from BD950.55m in August 2019 and by 17.07pc from BD1,092.89m in July 2020.

The number of transactions made through the Fawateer service in August 2020 were 369,407, 130.09pc higher than 160,547 in August last year, however, it was 5.87pc lower than 392,456 in July 2020.

In terms of value, Fawateer transactions amounted to BD34.34m in August 2020, 88.29pc higher than BD18.24m in August 2019, but 18.8pc lower than BD42.3m in July 2020.

The CBB data shows also that credit card and debit card transactions across point of sale (POS) terminals saw a drop of 6.1pc in value amounting to BD186.2m in August 2020, when compared with BD198.3m for the same month last year.

Providing an insight into how sales and services have been affected by the Covid-19 crisis in Bahrain, the statistics, however, show that the number of transactions has gone up by 10pc to 6,858,807 last month from 6,237,536 in August last year.

When compared to July 2020, when it was BD196.5m, the value of POS transactions has come down by 5.2pc, while the number of transactions has dropped by 4.1pc from 7,150,035.

A deep dive into the data shows that restaurants was the top usage sector accounting for 1,562,934 transactions; followed by supermarkets with 1,329,852; department stores claiming 980,982; healthcare providers garnering 524,391; and clothing and footwear stores getting 350,046.

In terms of value, government services led the top five usage sectors, accounting for BD50.3m last month, followed by department stores with BD20.6m, supermarkets in third place with BD13.9m, health taking in BD11.8m and restaurants in fifth place with BD9.4m.

The CBB said it operates a real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system where all inter-bank and customer transaction payments are processed and settled in real-time, on-line mode.

As many as 19,364 transactions went through RTGS in August 2020, registering a growth of 6.30pc compared to August 2019 when total transactions stood at 18,217.

However, in terms of value, August 2020 witnessed a decrease of 31.64pc as total transactions worth BD4.93 billion were handled by the system compared to BD7.22bn in August 2019.


Source: http://www.gdnonline.com/Details/872225/Eight-fold-rise-in-electronic-real-time-fund-transfers


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