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Bahrainís National Electronic Network for Financial Transactions.

BENEFIT Company foresees Bahrainís global position in the future of banking in the region, and is determined to provide the banking community with the best and most advanced services. The company has the interest of Bahrainís financial industry at heart, and all of its efforts revolve around that. Thus, BENEFIT is determined to provide their clients with the best most advanced services and support.

The BENEFIT Company is the backbone of the Financial Industry of Bahrain and is focused on adding value and investing in the prosperity of the financial community. It was established in November 1997, by seventeen commercial banks in Bahrain who are the sole shareholders and which are currently 14 banks due to mergers and acquisitions. BENEFIT is licensed by the Central Bank of Bahrain (CBB), under a special license, as a ĎProvider of Ancillary Services to the Financial Sector'. Furthermore, it is administered by a Board of Directors representing the shareholders on a proportional basis. The companyís paid-up capital holds a value of BHD 3.110 million (approx. 8.2 million US dollars).

The initial objective of the company was to take over the national ATM switching system, which was originally set up and operated by the CBB. This system has been expanded to encompass GCC-wide, cross-border ATM sharing under the GCCNET arrangement, as well as the switching of local debit card transactions at the Point of Sale (EFTPOS). As BENEFIT was growing, the company started handling the switching of American Express ATM transactions in Bahrain, Qatar, UAE and Kuwait. Furthermore, on-line telecom bill payments of the mobile operators are also switched by BENEFIT. The company is considered to be the clearing house in Bahrain and handles settling all of the switched transactions.

BENEFIT diversified its service bundle to include the National Bulk Payment system. The company has designed and developed both Direct Debit and Direct Credit system whereas the mandates are maintained and processed centrally. BENEFITís Payment Gateway is another value adding service that the company offers. It enables merchants, corporate and government entities to interact with their individual customers to process and settle online Credit and Debit cards payments via Internet or any other electronic channel with protection and integrity throughout a complete payment process cycle. In addition, BENEFIT has launched the national Credit Reference Bureau as part of its continuous attempts to contribute to the prosperity of the financial market in Bahrain.

BENEFIT is hosting and managing the GCCNet dispute management system for all ATM transactions across the GCC region, Lebanon, Egypt, Iran and Jordan; making Bahrain the hub of all GCC interbank ATM disputes. Moreover, The BENEFIT Company has launched the Bahrain Cheque Truncation System (BCTS) with the cooperation and support of CBB and 28 retail banks. Such service is sought to revolutionize the cheque clearing process in Bahrain and assist in enhancing the efficiency and speed of cash flow. Furthermore, BENEFIT is actively studying new projects and will launch selected initiatives in the near future.

The Central Bank of Bahrain and the BENEFIT Company has launched the Electronic Fund Transfer System (E.F.T.S) on Thursday 5th November 2015. The EFTS is an electronic system that interconnects all retail banks in Bahrain which shall enhance the efficiency of the fund transfers and bill payments; enabling banks, individuals, corporate and Government entities to benefit from this vital and important project. These new services are accessible through the banks' various channels such as branches, internet banking, and mobile banking.

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