An important economic press conference took place on the 4th of July 2017 at the Intercontinental Regency. The Benefit Company held the press conference wherein it announced the launch of BenefitPay.
BenefitPay is a mobile application that allows users to make or receive payments without the use of a physical card or actual cash. The software has been developed by BENEFIT.
Earlier this year on 4 May 2017 Benefit organized a workshop at the Intercontinental Regency for all participating banks. The workshop included a presentation by Mr. Ahmed AlMahri the Assistant Manager of Business Development at Benefit. The presentation highlighted how the Electronic Wallet system (BenefitPay) would work and the added convenience and security this brings to customers. And also highlighted how the software will use QR codes to facilitate payments during phase one, allowing consumers to purchase items using only their phones.
Mr. Abdulwahed AlJanahi, CEO of Benefit spoke at the press conference on the technicalities of BenefitPay confirming that BenefitPay is easy to use and completely safe “All that is needed is to download the app [is to] create an account, provide the CPR and mobile number, registering using a One-Time-Password that the user will receive through SMS, and finally the user will be assigned a PIN number and will use their fingerprint to access and authorize BenefitPay, thus fully ensuring security wholly and without exception as per the international and industry standards.”
BenefitPay is a holistic service that covers the needs for consumers as well as merchant. Since it streamlines branch management, payment tracking, and transaction history for merchants; this role was highlighted by Mr. AlJanahi “[Previously] businesses like the local tailor, bakery, the Instagram business, or barbershop/hair salons, would lose business because they did not accept cards. BenefitPay shall reduce the need for special machines and indeed, physical cash itself. Now, consumers will be encouraged to spend at these stores, and they too will be encouraged to accept BenefitPay if only for the sheer convenience of doing so, effectively accelerating an existing stream of revenue in the economy.”
The launch of the National Mobile Electronic Wallet Payment system is divided into two phases, the first of which was rolled out at the press conference, which covered consumer and merchant registration and operationalization of QR Code scanning. Integration with the Electronic Fund Transfer System to enable Fawri+ and Fawateer shall occur before the end of the fiscal year, along with enabling Credit Cards, Near Field communication (NFC) payments and much more that constitutes the second phase of the project.
Merchants will be able to get BenefitPay by first contacting the acquirer bank who will send them log in credentials via email allowing them to set up their virtual branches and then begin using BenefitPay to receive business related payments over their smart devices through the Appstore/Playstore.
“Bahrain is a regional leader in the finance and economic sector. The demand for safe, secure, convenient transactions has never been stronger, and that is why we will be the first in the region to develop this service. We have good reason to believe that this system will be successful.” Said Benefit CEO Abdulwahid Janahi, referring to the impact BenefitPay will have on the Payments process.