MANAMA: The surge in online banking in Bahrain gathered momentum due to the Covid-19 pandemic, show infographics released by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) yesterday.
Transactions within the country using Fawri, Fawri+ and Fawateer services have largely seen substantial growth in May this year when compared with the same month last year, the data shows.
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.
The number of transactions completed through Fawri+ in May 2020 amounted to 3,404,214, up 935.7pc from 328,688 in May 2019 and 51pc from 2,253,822 in April 2020.
In terms of value, Fawri+ transactions amounted to BD179.9m in May 2020, up 398pc from BD36.1m in May 2019 and 29.4pc from BD139.1m in April 2020.
As for Fawri, the number of transactions jumped by 21.1pc to 684,175 in May 2020, when compared with 564,786 in May 2019, however, there was a drop of 11.4pc in the number when compared with 772,394 in April 2020.
The total value of Fawri transactions at BD993.6m in May 2020 was down 3.6pc from BD1030.8m in May 2019.4.
The number of transactions made through the Fawateer service in May 2020 were 272,944, 68.8pc higher than 161,705 in May last year, and 148.7pc higher than 109,748 in April 2020.
In terms of value, Fawateer transactions amounted to BD34m in May 2020, 58.5pc higher than BD21.4m in May 2019.
However, there was dip of 11.5pc in the value when compared with BD38.4m in April 2020.
The CBB data shows also that credit card and debit card transactions across point of sale (POS) terminals saw a sharp drop of 22pc in value amounting to BD152.6m in May 2020, when compared to BD195.6m 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 to 5,584,406 last month from 5,297,969 in May last year.
When compared to April 2020, when it was BD142.2m, the value of POS transactions has gone up by 7.3pc, while the number of transactions has risen by 13pc from 4,940,126.
A deep dive into the data shows that supermarkets was the top usage sector in terms of number of transactions accounting for 1,196,281 transactions, followed by 858,602 in department stores, 850,951 in restaurants, 340,678 in clothing and footwear stores, and 254,777 for government services.
Bahraini debit cards comprised 68pc of transactions, while Bahraini credit cards were used in 29pc of transaction in supermarkets.
Similarly, 71pc of department store transactions were done using Bahraini debit cards, which also accounted for 77pc of transactions in restaurants, 73pc in clothing and footwear, and 54pc of government services.
In terms of value, government services led the top five usage sectors, accounting for BD28.1m last month, followed by department stores with BD18.5m, supermarkets in third place with BD13.2m, clothing and footwear taking in BD8.9m and vehicle dealers in fifth place with BD5.8m.
The data also shows that Bahraini credit cards were used in 80pc of government services transactions and 64pc of payments at vehicle dealerships, whereas Bahraini debit cards accounted for the majority of transactions in the other categories; 69pc, 65pc and 66pc in department stores, supermarkets and clothing and footwear stores, respectively.
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