Friday 3 December 2021

Bahrain launches world’s first eCheque system

MANAMA, October 20, 2021

The Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB) has launched the world's first electronic cheque system catering to individual, as well as corporate bank customers. 
The Bahrain Electronic Cheque System (BECS) is being implemented by Benefit Company, a key fintech and electronic financial transactions services firm in the kingdom.
The CBB move comes as part of its efforts to boost digital transformation and introduce innovative financial services, in line with Bahrain Economic Vision 2030, thus forming a starting point for transformation into a cashless society.
Benefit said it will carry out a set of initiatives to highlight the launch of the new eCheque service through marketing and awareness campaigns. 
These initiatives will be implemented in cooperation with several banks in the Kingdom of Bahrain, and it will include promoting illustrative clips of how to use the service and sharing awareness posts in various advertising media and social media platforms, it added.
According to CBB, it is the first integrated electronic cheques system in the world dedicated to retail and corporate banking clients, and is available on smartphone apps, including BenefitPay (for Individuals) and eCheque App (for corporates). 
These apps offer several services to users, such as online cheque book issuance request from retail banks, as well as other services, including issuing, signing and depositing cheques, which are all done online without the need for the client to visit the bank to perform these services, and in accordance with advanced security requirements that achieve the highest level of transparency and protection.
Speaking at the official BECS launch yesterday (October 19), Benefit CEO Abdulwahed Al Janahi said: "As per the directives of the CBB, we take pride to be tasked to operate this significant national system, which reinforces the kingdom’s position as a front for innovation in electronic payment processes."
"As Benefit, we want to provide seamless and secure payment experiences. The eCheque will allow consumers to enjoy the functions of a regular cheque online without having to experience the long waiting time associated with traditional paper cheques," stated Al Janahi. 
"When it comes to security, users will adopt a secure digital signature, which removes the need for handwritten signatures as required with paper cheques, reducing the risk of forgery and fraud. Additionally, electronic signatures preserve the underlying identities and enable more secure audit trails and keep track of the digital signer’s timestamp and location," he explained. 
The unique login credentials and the ability to sign from a device allows electronic signatures to have greater traceability compared to traditional signatures, he added. 
Bahrain is the first country in the world to launch this integrated and distinct eCheque service, which is a testament on the extent of innovation development and technological progress in the kingdom’s banking and business sectors, placing Bahrain in the forefront as a pioneering model in this field.
Elaborating further, AlJanahi said: "This milestone will be an optimal solution toward innovative digital services. I want to thank the CBB, governmental authorities and banks which have been an invaluable partners since the beginning of the journey. Our collective efforts and vision for Bahrain has made it possible to achieve this significant milestone in the region."
Benefit’s Payment Services Head and eCheque Service Project Director Shafaq Al Kooheji said: "The launch of this national project is a wonderful occasion, as it introduces an international model of which we are all proud."
"This initiative offers environment friendly payment methods, in line with the Kingdom’s efforts to achieve its sustainable development goals. I would like to express sincere gratitude to all those who contributed to accomplishing this milestone achievement," she added.


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