Online payments surge 292 per cent

MANAMA: Benefit, the operator of Bahrain’s electronic fund transfer system (EFTS), has reported a massive jump in online payment transactions last year, largely due to the ongoing pandemic.

Payments through the EFTS surged by 292 per cent in volume year-on-year, with their total value exceeding BD16 billion in 2020, a jump of 19pc from BD13bn in 2019.

Transactions using the national electronic wallet, BenefitPay, increased by 794pc in volume with their total value exceeding BD2.3bn in 2020 versus BD360m in 2019, a more than six-fold jump or 539pc increase.

The mobile application was named the most ‘Innovative e-Payment Product’ last year by Global Economics magazine.

Payments using Fawri, Fawri+ and Fawateer services enabled by EFTS have also seen substantial growth, said Benefit.

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.

Data shows Fawri+ transactions increased by 652pc to BD2.2bn in total value in 2020 compared with about BD542m in 2019, which is an increase of 314pc.

Fawri+ payments through the BenefitPay increased by 785pc reaching a total value that were over BD1.98bn for 2020, compared with about BD321m in 2019, an increase of 520pc.

Fawri transactions increased by 23pc, with total value of more than BD13.4bn in 2020 compared with BD12.7bn in 2019, a rise of 5pc.

Fawri payments through the BenefitPay application increased by 235pc, and their total value exceeded BD254m in 2020 compared with BD33m in 2019, a surge of 653pc.

Fawateer transactions jumped by 111pc in number, with their total value at BD463m for 2020 compared with BD281m in 2019, an increase of 64pc.

Fawateer transactions through BenefitPay increased by 1174pc in volume, while their total value exceeded BD60m for 2020 compared with about BD5m in 2019, with a upswing of 954pc.

Since the Covid-19 outbreak in March last year, consumers have preferred to use less cash, seeking safer and cleaner payment methods and accelerating the movement towards a cashless economy, say experts.




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