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Wed 29 Apr 2020 02:51 PM

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Fintech set to grow during Covid-19 pandemic, says Bahrain's EDB

Bahrain's national electronic wallet has seen an increase of 1,257% in the amount of remittances sent through the platform

Fintech set to grow during Covid-19 pandemic, says Bahrain's EDB

The GCC will see a surge in the use of fintech platforms as consumers turn away from physical offerings during the Covid-19 pandemic, according to David Parker, the co-chief investment officer of the Bahrain Economic Development Board.

Bahrain’s national electronic wallet, BenefitPay, has announced that it has recorded an increase of 1,257 percent in the number of remittances through its Fawri+ service in March, totaling some $273 million.

According to Parker, online banking and cryptocurrencies are among the products that have seen notable increases in transactions during the pandemic.

“At a time when few customers can access physical services, fintech platforms across the GCC are experiencing a surge in use – something we anticipate continuing well into the summer months,” he said. “BenefitPay’s significant increase in transactions shows the region’s growing appetite for new technologies, and that being digital-first is no longer optional.”

Similar trends have been seen in other parts of the world. A study from financial advisory firm deVere Group, for example, found that the use of fintech apps in Europe rose by 72 percent in just one week at the beginning of the crisis.

The MENA fintech market is expected to be worth $2.5 billion by 2022. 

“The remarkable growth of usage of electronic financial payments reflects on the awareness and commitment of our community to take the precautionary measures,” said BENEFIT chief executive Abdulwahed Aljanahi.

“We have also witnessed a large number of businesses and home business that began providing their customers with the option to pay via BenefitPay, ensuring the success of our national team to limit the spread of this pandemic.”

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