Payment & Settlement
The CBB operates a Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) System where all inter-bank payments are processed and settled in real time, on-line mode. The RTGS system provides for payment and settlement of customer transactions as a value addition. The RTGS system enables the banks to have real time information on, for example, account balances, used and available intra-day credit, queue status, transaction status etc. The RTGS system is multi-currency capable and based on Straight through Processing (STP).
The RTGS system is open from 8 a.m. to 3:25 p.m. every business day. At the end of each business day, the RTGS system will transfer any remaining balances from banks RTGS accounts to the banks clearing accounts. Negative balances on any bank clearing account are charged with a penalty interest rate of 10% p.a.
Securities Depository and Settlement
The CBB offers depository and settlement services for holdings and transactions in government securities. The CBB operates a Scripless Securities Settlement (SSS) System as a depository of all dematerialised Government Securities. The SSS System provides for auction, issue and allotment of all government securities including Islamic securities. It also provides for securities transactions such as sale, purchase, repo, reverse repo, etc. The SSS System is multi-currency capable and based on Straight through Processing (STP).
Bahrain Cheque Truncation System (BCTS)
As part of the Central Bank of Bahrain vision to replace the paper based Automated Cheque Clearing System operated by the CBB, the Bahrain Cheque Truncation System (BCTS) commenced its operations in cooperation with the BENEFIT Company (BENEFIT) on 13th May, 2012. Under the BCTS, cheques presented for payment will be scanned at the bank where the customer deposits his/her cheque(s) and the electronic images and payment information, instead of the physical cheque, will be transmitted to the BCTS Clearing House. Clearing and payment will then be done based on those transmitted cheque images and payment information and not the physical cheque(s).
In exercising the powers conferred by Article 32(a) of the CBB Law, the CBB authorised the BENEFIT Company (BENEFIT) to operate and manage the BCTS Clearing House to provide image based cheque clearing facilities to retail banks, subject to the Directives, regulations, terms and conditions imposed by the CBB from time to time.
Near Real-Time Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS)
The Central Bank of Bahrain has authorised the BENEFIT Company to operate the Near Real Time Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS). The EFTS is an electronic system that links all commercial banks in Bahrain to increase the efficiency of fund transfers and payments which benefits all retail bank customers in the Kingdom. The EFTS offers three services to all customers of retail banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain:
- Fawri+: is a unique service that allows customers of retail banks to transfer any amount up to BD 1,000 per account, per day, within 30 seconds and is available 24x7x365. All that is required from the customer to transfer funds in 30 seconds is the beneficiary’s IBAN and the amount to be sent.
- Fawri: is a service that allows customers of retail banks to transfer any amount in a matter of hours during official working days. This service offers the possibility of transfer of funds to one beneficiary or many beneficiaries, such as salaries and other payments, in a secure and smooth manner.
- Fawateer: is a service that collects and consolidates bills from several bill issuers and displays the bills in one screen to retail bank customers. This service gives customers the option to inquire and pay their due bills, within 30 seconds (online billers). Customers can also pay offline billers registered for the service. The Fawateer service also offers a direct debit service which enables issuers of bills to deduct the amount from customers by the due date, by automating these payments. The issuer of the bills needs to get the customer’s mandate to carry out these deductions.
The ATM clearing is based on a Deferred Net Settlement (DNS) system. The Benefit Company in Bahrain receives and processes all the ATM transactions. The GCC net, a leased line network across the GCC countries, provides for the communication backbone for the transmission of all the ATM transactions and settlement related electronic messages.
RTGS-SSS Membership Documents
The CBB is the settlement bank for ATM transactions across the GCC. The ATM clearing is based on a Deferred Net Settlement (DNS) system. The Benefit Company in Bahrain receives and processes all the ATM transactions. The GCC net, a leased line network across the GCC countries, provides for the communication backbone for the transmission of all the ATM transactions and settlement related electronic messages.