Implementation of Bahrain Electronic Funds Transfer System (EFTS)
The Central Bank of Bahrain has recently announced that all banks in Bahrain need to implement Electronic Funds Transfer System (EFTS) – a national electronic payments system inter-connecting all retail banks, their customers (Personal and Corporate) and bill originators.
What is EFTS?
The Electronic Fund Transfer System (EFTS) is an electronic system that interconnects all retail banks in Bahrain which aims to enhance the efficiency of fund transfers and bill payments; enabling banks, individuals, corporate and Government entities to benefit from this important project. These services are accessible through the banks' various channels such as Branches, Personal Internet Banking and Mobile Banking.
EFTS will enhance and streamline the movement of funds in Bahrain across all sectors which shall promote a more efficient and proactive banking sector.
What are the services of EFTS?
There are 3 main services of the EFTS, which are as follows:
- Fawri+ is Near Real Time (NRT) fund transfer service which allows Personal Banking customers to transfer funds in Bahraini Dinars, up to BD 1,000 per day, per account, within 30 seconds, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week throughout the year. Fawri+ ensures a full straight through process flow with no manual intervention. With just the beneficiary IBAN (International Bank Account Number) and the amount, customer to customer fund transfers can be completed within 30 seconds. Fawri+ also facilitates Direct Debit service which automates bill payments. Direct Debit allows billers (as per the authorization of customer) to debit customer's account on a regular basis on the due date of their bills without the need for customers to worry about the payment.
- Fawri is Deferred Net Settlement (DNS) fund transfer service which allows Personal Banking customers to transfer any amount in Bahraini Dinars to another beneficiary in Bahrain. payment is usually within a few hours if made during business hours. Fawri also facilitates Direct Debit service which automates bill payments.
- Fawateer is Electronic Bill Payment & Presentment (EBPP) fund transfer service which aggregates bills from multiple billers and presents those bills to Personal Banking customers in one interface. It is a one stop shop for bill enquiries and payments (Customers will need to pre-register EFTS specific billers), where customers can view their outstanding bills of multiple pre-registered billers and pay all immediately, if initiated from Personal Internet Banking or Mobile Banking channels.
What is Fawateer?
Fawateer is online Bill Payment services introduced under the Electronic Funds Transfer System (EFTS) in the Kingdom of Bahrain. Fawateer provides real time bill payments and enquiries, which allows a customer to pay and settle bills within 30 seconds.
Who governs the new payment system?
The new Electronic Fund Transfer System is governed by the Bahrain's Electronic Network for Financial Transactions, called BENEFIT.
What is the benefit of this new Fawateer service as an HSBC Customer?
Through the Fawateer, you can enquire, access and pay single or multiple bills to Billers registered with BENEFIT, by selecting the biller and entering the biller's ID or Customer's ID and any additional information as required by the biller.
What is Online and Offline Billers?
Online Billers are Billers registered with BENEFIT where you can enquire Bills due (outstanding bill amount), Real Time. Offline Billers does not give you the option to enquire dues outstanding bill amount), Real Time, to settle bills.
Can my existing Payees on Personal Internet Banking (PIB) be used to pay Billers under Fawateer service?
As the Fawateer Bill Payment service requires that all Billers be registered on the online portal, the previously set up Payees on PIB cannot be reused. However, American Express (AMEX Bill) Payee can be used at HSBC ATMs or on Phone Banking.
How do I manage Bill Payment to AMEX?
As an HSBC Customer you can continue to pay AMEX using the following channels:
- HSBC ATM- Bill Payments
- Phone Banking
- Debit arrangement through AMEX office directly
Can I still view my Bill Payment history?
Yes, you can still view the Bill Payment history for Bills paid previously on Personal Internet Banking.
How do I know if my bills have been paid?
The bills paid through Fawateer system will be completed in 30 seconds. If the System is unable to settle the bills due to Biller system being offline or any other issue, the funds will credit back into the account immediately.
Will I be charged for the Fawateer service?
The Fawateer service is a free service and is available 24/7/365 days of the year including Bank Holidays.
Is there a daily limit on number or value of Fawateer transactions that can be carried out?
You can do any number of Fawateer transactions a day. But, the aggregate value of all Fawateer transactions is limited to BD 4,000/ per day.
Is the Fawateer service available on all HSBC channels?
It's available on both Personal Internet Banking (PIB) and Mobile Banking.
Where can I find details to add a Bill Payee on personal Internet Banking (PIB)?
You will have to select the respective Billers who have registered for Fawateer for the details and the required IDs for verification. Once you have the required details you can ‘Add Payee' (Biller) on HSBC Personal Internet Banking (PIB).
Why do I see Add Payee and Maintain Payee lock icons?
You will need an HSBC Secure Token to access these services/icons. Once you have added a Bill Payee or Amended an existing Fawateer registered Bill Payee, then you can Enquire and Pay or use Quick Pay to complete the transaction.
What is the difference between Quick Pay and Enquire and Pay?
The Fawateer provides One-step Bill payment (Quick Pay) to New Payees registered on the Fawateer system or Payees already added in Personal Internet Banking (PIB) without enquiring Real Time dues (outstanding bill amount) to be settled. You will need the details of the Biller along with the IDs required to settle the Bill. Enquire and Pay gives the benefit of enquiring Real Time dues to be settled before making the settlement.
What are the important points to note?
- The Fawri+ platform is available 24 hours a day, throughout the year. The transfer instruction is irrevocable and funds are immediately available.
- Under Fawri+, forward date payments are not allowed. The payee has to use Fawri for such payments
- Fawri+ will have a daily transaction limit up to BD 1,000, per account, while Fawri will support single and multiple payments, without any limit on the value of transactions. However, Personal Internet Banking & Mobile Banking limits will continue to apply
- Payments executed as Fawri, will be processed and settled at defined interval's batches, within few hours, if made during business hours.
- An inward Direct Debit payment will be processed through a signed mandate form that has to be registered under the EFTS portal through HSBC or any approved Biller
- EFTS supports only IBAN to IBAN transfers. Credit cards do not have IBAN. You can make a payment towards your HSBC Credit Card from your HSBC account through Personal Internet Banking or by visiting an HSBC Branch. If you do not have an HSBC account, you can make a payment to your card directly through an HSBC ATM
- Standing Instructions: In case, you have Standing Instruction setup and it does not reflect IBAN of beneficiary account currently, please visit your nearest HSBC Branch urgently, to update IBAN. Failure to do so will result in unsuccessful processing of Standing Instructions
- You will need to specify the purpose of payment as this is a mandatory requirement for Fawri transfers. For existing Standing Instructions, we will default Purpose of payment to "Ordinary Transfer". In case, "Ordinary Transfer" is not the actual purpose and you would like to change it, please get in touch with your branch
- Fawateer (Bill Payments):
- Currently setup bill payees on your Personal Internet Banking will not be accessible after the migration to EFTS Fawateer and customers are required to revisit Personal Internet Banking and setup bill payees again, providing that the billers are available under EFTS
- No Standing Instructions (future dated payments) will be supported for Fawateer
- In particular, all previously setup American Express (Amex) bill payees, will no longer be supported through Personal Internet Banking
- American Express (Amex) cardholders can choose to settle bills through;
- HBSC ATM, by selecting the bill payment option
- Phone Banking service, by calling our call center
- Alternatively, Amex cardholders can make direct debit arrangement through Amex office directly
- Amex Customers who wish to set up bill payees, can approach the nearest HSBC branch in Bahrain, to enable Bill Payment functionality on their profiles, by submitting the required form
Should you have any query in this regard, please contact your Relationship Manager, nearest branch or our call center at below numbers:
- HSBC Premier: 8000 1288 (within Bahrain) and +971 4224 1000 (outside Bahrain)
- HSBC Advance: 17569569 (within Bahrain) and +973 1756 9569 (outside Bahrain)
- HSBC Personal: 80001900 (within Bahrain) and +971 4228 8007 (outside Bahrain)
Thank you for banking with HSBC.