Consumers are going cashless in growing numbers with digital payments rising by 24.6 per cent year-on-year and ATM cash withdrawals falling by 9.81pc, according to the latest transaction report by the Central Bank of Bahrain.
The ‘Point-of-Sale (POS) and Ecommerce Tranaction’ report revealed that a total of 14,160,551 point-of-sale and ecommerce transactions took place last month, an increase of 2.3pc from August.
“Of these transactions, 75.5pc were contactless payments, while 12.6pc were ecommerce transactions,” the report added.
On average, e-commerce had a higher value per transaction compared to contactless payments.
In total, BD324.2 million was transferred digitally. E-commerce accounted for BD114.184m (35.2pc) of the total value of cashless transactions, while contactless payments accounted for BD152.374 (47pc).
This marks a 14.1pc increase in total value year-on-year, but a 1.7pc decline since the previous month.
The Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS), which includes Fawri+, Fawri and Fawateer services, also saw a significant rise in usage.
During September, 21,069,103 Fawri+ transactions were completed, a year-on-year rise of 58.5pc, and a monthly increase of 5.19pc. The value of these transactions totalled BD507.85m, a year-on-year increase of 30.45pc.
In addition, 854,520 Fawri transactions were made, a year-on-year rise of 8.09pc and a drop of 3.19pc since last month. The value of these transactions totalled BD1,516.896m, a year-on-year increase of 9.92pc.
A total of 1,006,585 Fawateer transactions were made, a year-on-year rise of 19.52pc and a drop of 6.01pc since last month. The value of these transactions totalled BD70.150m, a year-on-year increase of 27.46pc.
Although Fawri+ transactions accounted for the lion’s share of the volume of EFTS transactions at 91.9pc, Fawri accounted for the highest value transactions – 72.5pc of the total value of EFTS transactions.
Most of the cashless transactions happened in the restaurant sector, with a total of 4,750,276 payments – an increase of 0.7pc since the previous month. In total, BD36.6m of payments were made at restaurants – marking a drop in total value of cashless transactions by 2.1pc compared to the previous month’s spending.
Supermarkets saw the strongest growth in the volume of cashless transactions – seeing a monthly increase of 7pc and a total volume of 3,357,904 payments.
In total, BD34.2m of payments were made at supermarkets – marking a rise in total value of cashless transactions by 4.7pc compared to the previous month’s spending.
A total of 943,830 payments were made for government services – a monthly increase of 2.5pc in terms of volume. This accounted for the highest total value of transactions, at a total of BD94.8m but this was a drop by 2.2pc compared to the previous month.
The health sector also saw a surge in transactions with a month-on-month growth of 5.2pc, accounting for a total of 804,824.
Meanwhile, department stores saw a 0.3pc monthly decline in cashless transaction volume, with a total of 590,764 payments, and hotels saw a 12.6pc monthly decline in transaction value, resulting in a total of BD15.7m.
The report also showed that there were 1.13m ATM withdrawals and a total of BD106.742m withdrawn.
Meanwhile, there were 1.359 payment gateway transactions, accounting for BD69.621m of transactions.
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