Bahrain plans to join the unified system of payments and settlements of the Persian Gulf countries.
The Upper House of the National Assembly of Bahrain has approved the implementation of the intention to join the country to the unified payment system.
The basis was prepared for Bahrain to link its payment and settlement systems with the systems of other countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC): Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, and the United Arab Emirates.
The Executive Director of the Central Bank of Bahrain for Banking Operations, Hesa Alsada, says that the electronic platform will display all official exchange rates daily, and will allow you to transfer money from account to account and make purchases. In this case, there is no need to use SWIFT or other similar banking protocols to make transactions.
Last year, experts said that in the foreseeable future, the integration of the countries’ monetary systems will develop by coordinating payment infrastructures under the auspices of the Persian Gulf Payment Company (GPC). There is a special program for combining all payment systems of the Persian Gulf countries through an independent company owned and financed by the central banks of the states of this region.
Although five GCC countries have signed up for a single system, only Saudi Arabia has finalized its membership.
Bahrain’s financial infrastructure is currently under active development. Experts predict that the volume of real-time payments in this country will exceed $1 billion by 2026.
In November, the global money transfer giant MoneyGram announced the beginning of cooperation with the Bahraini company Beyon Money. As part of the implementation of the partnership program of these companies, residents of Bahrain have the opportunity to send money to more than 200 countries.
In 2015, the Fawri+ instant payment platform was launched in Bahrain. In 2017, the platform processed less than 1% of regional electronic transactions. As of the end of 2021, this indicator exceeded the mark of 50%.
Benefit, the operator of Bahrain’s national Electronic Money Transfer System (EFTS), plans to enter new markets. The company also intends to implement measures to expand the availability of credit and provide support to initiatives related to the digitalization of the financial industry.
A digital currency testing program is currently being created in Bahrain. In 2023, the UAE also announced preparations for the release of a new generation of currency. In its February statement, the country’s central bank argued that digital dirhams would solve the problem of low efficiency of cross-border payments and help stimulate innovation for domestic financial operations.
As we have reported earlier, National Bank of Bahrain to launch new digital banking platform.