Real-time electronic fund transfers surge six-fold

MANAMA: Real-time electronic fund transfers in Bahrain jumped more than six-fold in December 2020, marking the sixth straight month of a rising trend.

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 December last year when compared with the same month of 2019.

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, 84 per cent, of EFTS transactions, followed by Fawri and Fawateer at 9pc 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 December 2020 amounted to 7,447,526, up 541.02pc (more than six times) from 1,161,831 in December 2019 and 16.40pc higher than 6,398,325 in November 2020.

In terms of value, Fawri+ transactions amounted to BD284.11 million in December 2020, up 243.38pc from BD82.74m in December 2019, and 11.01pc higher than BD255.941m in November 2020.

As for Fawri, the number of transactions jumped by 14.46pc to 749,376 in December 2020, when compared with 654,703 in December 2019 and 2.96pc higher than 727,852 in November 2020.

The total value of Fawri transactions at BD1,274.95m in December 2020 is up 7.31pc from BD1,188.06m in December 2019 and by 12.90pc from BD1,129.27m in November 2020.

The number of transactions made through the Fawateer service in December 2020 were 643,535, higher by 236.77pc than 191,088 in December last year, and by 12.75pc than 570,778 in November 2020.

In terms of value, Fawateer transactions amounted to BD42.9m in December 2020, 83.54pc higher than BD23.38m in December 2019, however it was 3.25pc lower than BD44.35m in November 2020.

A clear indication that Bahrain is becoming a more cashless economy comes from the CBB data on credit card and debit card transactions across point of sale (POS) terminals, which saw a jump of 19.5pc in volume to 8,962,762 in December 2020, from 7,498,195 in December 2019, and a rise of 8pc when compared with 8,296,366 in the previous month.

The statistics show that the value of transactions remained nearly flat year-on-year at BD233.1m in December 2020 when compared with BD232.5m in December 2019.

The highest number of POS transactions last month were carried out in restaurants (2,267,851), followed by supermarkets (1,940,128), department stores (656,052), health services (608,208) and transport (572,404).

All the sectors, except department stores, saw month-on-month rises in transactions during December 2020, with the highest jump of 75.2pc seen in the transport sector.

In terms of value, government services at BD57.8m, led the top five sectors, with supermarkets at BD23.6m coming next, followed by restaurants (BD16.7m), department stores (BD13.8m) and health (BD13.4m).




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