MANAMA: Bahrain’s contactless payments soared a whopping 75 per cent last month alongside a 13pc jump in e-commerce, government data shows.

Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) infographics for August 2022 also highlight a 23pc year-on-year rise in total transactions (point-of-sale plus e-commerce) to 13,928,613.

The contactless and digital payments figures reflect a shift in behaviour among consumers who previously primarily transacted in cash or were moderate card spenders

The total cashless spend of BD329.8 million last month was up 17.9pc when compared with August 2021, the banking regulator reports.

Data shows that the highest number of transactions in August 2022 were carried out in restaurants (4,715,702), followed by supermarkets (3,139,553), government services (920,362), health services (764,877) and department stores (592,268).

The top five sectors all saw month-on-month growth in numbers ranging from 3pc to 33.3pc.

In terms of value, government services at BD96.9m led the top-five sectors, with restaurants at BD37.4m coming next, followed by supermarkets (BD32.7m), hotels and resorts (BD17.9m) and automobile dealers (BD16.4m) – up 39.8pc from July 2022.

The report shows electronic fund transfers in the kingdom increased during August 2022, extending the rising trend to more than 18 months.

Transactions using Fawri, Fawri+ and Fawateer services, enabled by the electronic fund transfer system (EFTS), continue to see substantial growth, amounting to a total of 21,983,622 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 (91.1pc) of EFTS transactions, followed by Fawateer making up 4.9pc and Fawri, taking a 4pc share.

The number of transactions completed through Fawri+ in August 2022 amounted to 20,030,004, up 58.5pc from the same month last year.

In terms of value, Fawri was the leader at 72.8pc, followed by Fawri+ at 23.1pc and Fawateer at 4.1pc. Fawri transactions amounted to BD1.6 billion last month, up 26.5pc from August 2021, whereas Fawri+ deals added up to a total of BD508.1m.

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 BD7.4bn, 4.6pc higher than the same month last year.

Further reinforcing the shift to cashless was the 2.87pc year-on-year rise in value of successful payment gateway transactions to BD70.8m.

This has been accompanied by a corresponding 10.24pc drop in volume of successful ATM withdrawals to 1.11m, with their value slipping 5.2pc to BD107.3m.


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