Bahrain - Cashless transactions in Bahrain jumped 46.4 per cent to BD348.3 million ($926.3m) last month when compared with the same month of 2021, reveals data from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).

A total of 14,423,806 point-of-sale (PoS) and e-commerce transactions were recorded in the kingdom last month, 74.8pc of them contactless, the banking regulator said, reporting a 49.4pc year-on-year jump in the volume.

The figures reflect the nation-wide surge in contactless and digital payments signalling a shift in payments behaviour among consumers who previously primarily transacted in cash or were moderate card spenders.

Data shows that the highest number of transactions last month were carried out in restaurants (5,052,568), followed by supermarkets (3,214,476), government services (847,004), health services (833,389) and department stores (626,374).

In terms of value, government services at BD93.1m led the top five sectors, with restaurants at BD41.9m coming next, followed by supermarkets (BD35.9m), hotels and resorts (BD21.4m) – up 212.1pc year-on-year – and clothing and footwear (BD16.7m).

The infographic shows electronic fund transfers in the kingdom increased during May 2022, extending the rising trend to more than 15 months.

Transactions using Fawri, Fawri+ and Fawateer services, enabled by the electronic fund transfer system (EFTS), continue to see substantial growth.

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 (91.4pc) of EFTS transactions, followed by Fawateer at 4.8pc and Fawri at 3.8pc.

The number of transactions completed through Fawri+ in May 2022 amounted to 19,719,064, up 82.01pc from May 2021.

In terms of transaction value, Fawri was the leader at 70.3pc, followed by Fawri+ at 25.4pc and Fawateer at 4.3pc. Fawri transactions amounted to BD1.4 billion last month, up 18.7pc from the same month last year, whereas Fawri+ deals added up to a total of BD504.9m.

Also presented by the CBB was last month’s record of real-time gross settlement (RTGS) system transactions, where the value of interbank transactions was BD7.718bn, 35.37pc higher than the same month last year.

Further reinforcing the shift to cashless was the 9.95pc year-on-year rise in volume of successful payment gateway transactions to 1.56m last month, with their value jumping 15.38pc to BD71.6m.

This has been accompanied by a corresponding 8.7pc drop in volume of successful ATM withdrawals to 1.18m, with their value slipping 2.4pc to BD113.6m.

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