More than 14 million cashless transactions were recorded in Bahrain last month, 13 per cent higher than January 2022 shows the latest data from the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB).

Infographics published by the regulator show total transactions (point-of-sale plus e-commerce) in January 2023 amounted to BD320.7m ($852.9m), 10.4pc higher than the same month last year.

As many as 76.8pc of the 14,162,710 transactions were contactless, reflecting a shift in behaviour among consumers who previously primarily paid cash or were moderate card spenders.

Data shows that the highest number of transactions in January 2023 were carried out in restaurants (4,930,931), followed by supermarkets (3,024,452), government services (967,567), health services (757,870) and department stores (580,775). In terms of value, government services at BD94.3m led the top-five sectors, with restaurants at BD39.4m coming next, followed by supermarkets (BD30m), hotels and resorts (BD16.6m) and automobile dealers (BD15.3m).

The report shows electronic fund transfers in the kingdom increased during January 2022, extending the rising trend to more than two years.

Transactions using Fawri, Fawri+ and Fawateer services, enabled by the electronic fund transfer system (EFTS), continue to see substantial growth, cumulatively amounting to 26,972,898 last month. 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 (91.5pc) of EFTS transactions, followed by Fawri making up 4.4pc and Fawateer, taking a 4.1pc share.

The number of transactions completed through Fawri+ in January 2023 amounted to 24,696,138, up 48.9pc from the same month last year.

In terms of value of usage for each service, Fawri was the leader at 70.7pc, followed by Fawri+ at 25pc and Fawateer at 4.3pc. Fawri transactions amounted to BD1.59 billion last month, up 15.1pc from January 2022, whereas Fawri+ deals added up to a total of BD564.8m.

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 BD8.73bn, 16.1pc higher than the same month last year.

Data shows that the value of successful payment gateway transactions was BD63.6m and the volume was 1.28m.

There has been a 7.9pc drop in volume of successful ATM withdrawals to 1.09m, with their value slipping 4.4pc to BD107.19m.


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