Information & eGovernment Authority (iGA) statistic figures presented a positive growth in the number of online transactions with a rise of 55% compared to 2015 and 2016; recording an increase of 32% in the value of financial payments during the same period with a total amount of BD46 Million of various authority channels. These channels include the national portal (Bahrain.bh), eGovernment Apps Store (Bahrain.bh/apps), together with the eKiosks – this is according to the nature of each service and public trends in utilizing the services.
Such rise is due to the authority’s continuous efforts to implement its strategy concerned with the increase of users’ demands on online payments and eTransformation in phases of numerous services, develop them to suit the needs of the public and employ the best technology. The method of paying fees of government services online represents a step amongst a studied mechanism for the authority to re-engineer services. The authority succeeded in providing faster and easier ePayment services while ensuring security and privacy of users.
Today, eService beneficiaries have become more aware and confident in the ePayment services that are delivered via multiple online channels – avoiding them from visiting more than one government entity or website. Their reliance, on these services, have raised as an easy and fast mechanism which saves them time and effort; in addition to the public entities’ cooperation in transferring their services to become electronic along with their direction towards the dispense of numerous traditionally delivered services – such collaboration contributed in achieving this success with the highest levels of efficiency and speed.
Authority’s statistics – related to accomplished payment transactions during 2016 in comparison to the previous year – indicated that approximately 648,000 ePayment transactions were conducted via the national portal (Bahrain.bh) with a total amount of up to BD43 million. Furthermore, several payment services via the portal achieved an increase in the number of transactions and payments such as the services Request for eBirth Certificates, Passport Renewal as well as Payment & Enquiry of Court Execution Ruling. Such rise is due to the enhancements of the services and the impact of change management in achieving eTransformation within government services. Payments have also been raised via the Sijilat services due to the continuous collaboration amongst the authority together with the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Tourism in promoting the reliance of the businessmen category on this service. Whereas the total number of visits to services available on the portal has exceeded 3 million and 40,000 visits – some of these services include the Pre-Employment Health Check-up Appointments for foreign employees, Payment of Criminal Orders, Travel Ban and Passport Renewal.
During the same period, more than 51,000 payment transactions were conducted online via applications available in the Bahrain eGovernment Apps Store with amounts of nearly BD3 million (equivalent to three times the amounts paid through the apps during 2015). Downloading apps have also increased by 6% – most of which were for the apps Student Exam Results, followed by the Traffic Services and Electricity & Water Services. The total number of mobile applications by beneficiaries reached approximately 4.5 million users – an increase that reaches about 21% compared to 2015. The list of the most frequently utilized apps was topped by the Gov Employee app, Student Exam Results app and the Traffic Services app due to the services of interest to a large segment of the public.
In regards to the eKiosk, which have had developed features of payment services since the launch of the revamped eKiosks in May 2016, more than 6,000 payment transactions have been conducted through it – with a total amount of nearly BD83,000. Most were of services like Request for eBirth Certificates and the service Issue Copies of Student Certificates – this is due to the closure of front offices to complete these services and making them available online – as encompassed within the change management project that aims at achieving eTransformation in government services.
The number of incoming calls to the National Contact Center have also escalated to about 40%, while Live Chats have also increased by twice. In relevance to incoming requests via the national suggestions and complaints system ‘Tawasul’, interaction rates increased by more than 95%.
You may contact the Information & eGovernment Authority for any enquires, assistance, suggestions or complaints associated with the payment services via the Tawasul mobile app on bahrain.bh/apps.