DUBAI: Cashless payments in Bahrain surged in the first half of 2021, reaching $3.62 billion or a 65 percent increase year-on-year.
Data from the country’s central bank showed there were 11.3 million point-of-sale and e-commerce transactions in August alone – with a value of $743.7 million.
The new figures come as the rest of the Gulf has seen a surge in online and digital payments over the last months – accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic that pushed retailers online.
“Bahrain has anticipated the trends that were catalyzed by the pandemic. The Kingdom has a proven track record of reacting quickly to embrace emerging financial technologies and flexibly regulate them,” Dalal Buhejji, executive director of Business Development Investment Origination at the Bahrain Economic Development Board, said.
The government’s “open banking” approach allowed for digital transactions to rise, she explained.
“Our regulatory approach, along with our advanced digital infrastructure, is why we are at the forefront of developing the technologies, solutions and ecosystems that will form the future of the region’s digital economy.”