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Bahrain Country Report

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  • Published Date: November 2019

A comprehensive overview of the cards, payments and consumer banking market in Bahrain.

Available for 72 markets, Verisk Financial Research Country Reports deliver invaluable market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit. A dedicated team of analysts and researchers use both primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and experts.

What you will learn from this report:

  • How digitalisation efforts are faring in this cash-based society
  • The preferences shaping credit/debit cardholding patterns
  • How foreign issuers are finding opportunities
  • The role of sharia-compliant products
  • Why cheque payments are finally declining

Bahrain Cards and Payments Market Key Facts

  • Bahrain is predominantly a cash-based society. The government is taking initiatives to encourage greater use of electronic payments.
  • The Benefit Company, a bank-owned organisation, operates the ATM and POS switches and is playing a key role in the digitalisation of payments.
  • In 2017, it released BenefitPay, a national e-wallet that facilitates real-time peer-to-peer transfers, bill settlement and QR code payments at the point of sale.
  • Two years earlier, Benefit launched the country's electronic funds transfer system, providing the medium for near-instant payments and a new bill payments method.
  • Debit cards are the most popular type of card in Bahrain: there are three times as many debit cards as credit cards in issue.
  • Credit cards are preferred for purchases, accounting for over 60 percent of purchase volume. Debit cards are used primarily for cash withdrawal.
  • As is the case elsewhere in the Middle East, growth in the credit cards market is focused on the premium segment. With just one in five adults having a credit card, the customer base largely consists of affluent clients.
  • Interchange and other transaction-based fees are the main revenue sources for issuers, with interest income being relatively low.
  • CrediMax, a subsidiary of the Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait, is the largest issuer and acquirer of credit cards in the country.
  • Foreign banks have long been prominent in this retail banking market: Standard Chartered, HSBC and Citibank all have strong credit card portfolios.

Bahrain Country Report Table of Contents

Key facts
Demographics and the economy
Payments environment
Cards market
Mobile payments
Profit pool
The networks
Key retail banks and issuers
Acquiring and processing
Online acquiring
Regulatory and other cards market information
Appendices: Data

Appendix I: Demographics and the economy

  • Demographic and economic indicators
  • Ownership of key consumer devices
  • Internet usage by population

Appendix II: Payments environment

  • Access points
  • Account penetration
  • Consumer payment trends
  • B2C e- commerce payment methods

Appendix III: Cards market

  • Total cards payment metrics
  • Credit card numbers
  • Total credit cards metrics
  • Credit cards profitability indicators
  • Debit cards numbers
  • Debit cards metrics
  • Prepaid/e-money cards metrics

Appendix IV: Profit pool

  • Profit pool

Appendix V: The networks

  • Networks' credit card market shares
  • Networks' credit card numbers
  • Networks' credit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of credit card transactions
  • Networks' average credit card transaction value
  • Credit card interchange fees by network
  • Networks' debit card market shares
  • Networks' debit card numbers
  • Networks' debit card billed volume
  • Networks' number of debit card transactions
  • Networks' average debit card transaction value
  • Debit card interchange fees by network

Appendix VI: Key retail banks and issuers

  • Key credit card issuers market shares by credit card numbers
  • Key issuers market shares in credit card outstandings
  • Key debit card issuers market shares by debit card numbers

Appendix VII: Acquiring and processing

  • Merchant acquirer credit card market share
  • Credit card merchant service charges
  • Merchant acquirer debit card market share
  • Debit card merchant service charges
  • Credit card issuer/issuing processor relationships
  • Credit card acquirer/acquiring processor relationships
  • Credit card issuing processor market shares by card numbers
  • Credit card acquiring processor market shares by number of POS transactions

Appendix VIII: Online acquiring

  • Online merchant acquirer market share

Entities referenced in this Bahrain report

ABG Abu Dhabi Global Markets ACI Worldwide ADGM AFS Ahli United Bank Al Baraka Banking Group Al Salam Bank Bahrain AliExpress Almoayed Technologies Amazon Amazon Web Services American Express Apple Pay Arab Bank Arab Financial Services ASBB AUB AUB M-Bank AWS AXA Insurance Bahrain Association of Banks Bahrain Development Board and Fintech Bahrain Fintech Bay Bahrain Institute of Banking and Finance Bahrain Islamic Bank Bahrain Royal Medical Services Bank of Bahrain and Kuwait Batelco BBK Benefit BenefitPay BIBF British Airways CBB Central Bank of Bahrain Central Informatics Organisations Citibank Consortium Costa Coffee CrediMax Credit Reference Bureau Dragon City Bahrain EasyPay Eazy Financial Services eBay Economic Vision 2030 eGA eGovernment Authority Electricity and Water Authority Electronic Network for Financial Transactions Emirates Fawateer Fawri Fawri+ FinTech & Innovation Unit GCC GCC Development Fund GCCNet GIB Global Financial Innovation Network Global Payment Services Google Pay GPS Gulf Air Gulf Cooperation Council Gulf International Bank Hightech Payment Systems HSBC Ithmaar Bank JCB KFH-Bahrain Khaleej Al Bahrain Khaleeji Commercial Bank Kuwait Finance House – Bahrain Kuwait Financial House Lulu Hypermarket Marks & Spencer Mastercard Medgulf Takaful Meem Ministry of Works Monetary Authority of Singapore Moody's National Bank of Bahrain NBB NCR Corporation Network International NI Payments Academy PayPal Polytechnic University Real Estate Regulatory Authority Regulatory Sandbox SADAD Samsung Pay Shamil Bank Singapore Airlines. SINNAD Souq StanChart Standard Chartered Survey and Land Registration Bureau TAM Dinar Tayseer The Benefit Company Token.io Visa VIVA Bahrain

MORE MIDDLE EAST PAYMENTS REPORTS

Available for 72 markets, Verisk Financial Research Country Reports deliver invaluable market and competitor intelligence on payments cards, e-money, acquiring/processing, retail banking, and consumer credit. A dedicated team of analysts and researchers use both primary and secondary source data and conduct in-depth interviews with senior industry executives and experts.

See more Middle East Country Reports or explore the full range of Verisk Financial Research Country Reports.

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